Current Scholars

Cohort 2 (2020-present)

Kyrian Elekwachi

Undergraduate University: University of Pittsburgh
JHU Scholar Cohort: Cohort 2: 2020-present
Hometown: Baltimore, Maryland

Kyrian Elekwachi is a sophomore at the University of Pittsburgh where he studies neuroscience. He is an alumni of John Hopkins Internship in Brain Sciences (JHIBS) and currently studying HIV in the Brown Laboratory under Dr. Amanda Brown. His research this past summer focused on understanding how HIV affects different neuronal subtypes through brain oscillations and spontaneous neural activity in HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders.

Catalina Argandona

Undergraduate University: Montgomery College
JHU Scholar Cohort: Cohort 2 (2020-present)
Hometown: Gaithersburg, Maryland

Catalina Argandona is a rising senior at the University of Maryland College Park where she is majoring in neurobiology and physiology. This is her second year in the Johns Hopkins NeuroHIV-Comorbidities Scholars Program. This summer Catalina focused on the relationship between SIGLEC signaling/expression and NLRP3 Inflammasome signaling in microglia.

Quote: “Our destiny is not determined by the number of times we stumble but by the number of times we rise up, dust ourselves off, and move forward” – Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Ashley Yim

JHU Scholar Cohort: Cohort 2: 2020-present
Hometown: Germantown, Maryland
Mentor(s): Amanda Brown

Ashley Yim is a Junior at the University of Maryland College Park. She is a second year scholar in the JHNeurophytes program. This summer she is working in the Brown Lab and her research focuses on CD44 in the CNS.

Suwi Muwowo

JHU Scholar Cohort: (Cohort 2, 2020)
Hometown: Clarksville, Maryland

Suwi Muwowo is a sophomore at Boston University where she studies neurobiology and political science. She currently researches in the Brown Lab under the direction of Dr. Amanda Brown. Her research this past summer focused on navigating osteopontin modulated downstream signaling pathways in the presence of HIV associated neurocognitive disorder.

Cohort 3 (2021-present)

Jayda Fomengia

Hometown: Columbia, Maryland

Jayda Fomengia is a sophomore neuroscience major at the University of Maryland, College Park, and a first year scholar in Johns Hopkins Neuroscience Scholars Program. This past summer, she conducted research in Dr. Leah Rubin’s Brain Health Program. Under the mentorship of Asante Kamkwalala, Jayda studied the effects of depression on the amyloid burden in individuals living with HIV.

Quote: “Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” – Barack Obama

Elizabeth Chu

Hometown: Santa Rosa, California

Elizabeth Chu is a junior at St. John’s University where she studies biology, French, and philosophy. She currently works in the Brown Lab studying HIV-associated neurological pathology. Her research this summer focused on the effects of the HIV protein Tat on the subcellular mislocalization of the neuronal splicing factor Rbfox3.

Erika Moe

Hometown: Oregon

Erika Moe is a senior at the University of Oregon where she is majoring in human physiology and minoring in folklore. This summer was her first year as a Johns Hopkins Neurophytes Scholar. Under the guidance of Dr. Amanda Brown, Erika conducted research on bipolar disorder and how the L-type calcium channels of microglia contribute to the illness.

Quote: “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” – Wayne Gretzky

Fatima Zahra Karkoub

Undergraduate University: Notre Dame of Maryland University
JHU Scholar Cohort: Cohort 3 (2021-present)
Hometown: Baltimore, Maryland

Fatima Zahra Karkoub is a junior at Notre Dame of Maryland University, Women’s College where she studies biology on the pre-medical track with aspirations of becoming a physician scientist in the in the field of neurology. This past summer, under the direction of Dr. Carlo Colantuoni and Dr. Audrey Knight, her research focused on harvesting gene expression data from research on the central nervous system’s function in the Human Immunodeficiency Virus-1 (HIV-1) and understanding cognitive impairments associated with the infection.

Edian Cuevas Salas

Undergraduate University: University of Puerto Rico in Aguadilla
JHU Scholar Cohort: Cohort 3 (2021-present)
Hometown: San Sebastián, Puerto Rico

Edian Cuevas is a junior at the University of Puerto Rico in Aguadilla pursuing a major in Biology. As a John Hopkins NeuroPhyte Scholar during this summer 2020, she conducted an independent research project under the mentorship of Dr. Brett M. Morrison. Her research focused on the Role of Schwann cells P2X4R contributing to HIV gp120-induced painful neuropathy by releasing ATP from lysosomes altering DRG neurons in vivo. She wants to obtain a M.D/Ph.D. and continue her graduate studies at John Hopkins University.

Program Alumni

Jeremiah Acosta

Undergraduate University: Howard University
JHU Scholar Cohort: Cohort 1/Postgraduate-Peer Mentor
Mentor(s): Amanda Brown and Xiaolei Zhu
Research Focus: Neurodegenerative disorders and behaviors

Destiny Moore

Undergraduate University: Bachelor of Science (BS), Howard University
JHU Scholar Cohort: Cohort 1/Postgraduate-Peer Mentor
Mentor(s): Leah Rubin and Asante Kamkwalala
Research Focus: Leah Rubin and Asante Kamkwalala

Hannah Greaves

Undergraduate University: Gaithersburg, Maryland
JHU Scholar Cohort: (Cohort 1, 2019-2020)
Hometown: Bronx, New York

Hannah Greaves is a graduate of Lafayette College where she studied biology and psychology. She spent two summers in the Brown Lab under the direction of Dr. Amanda Brown. Although her previous research with Dr. Brown examined the ability of HIV-1 to establish and maintain reservoirs within macrophages/microglia, she has spent this past summer evaluating the role of Heat Shock Protein (HSP-90) stress response in HIV-1 and HIV associated comorbidities. Following graduation from Lafayette, she is planning on attending an accelerated nursing program designed for students who have a bachelor’s degree in a field than nursing. She hopes to be able to combine her interest in nursing and her passion for research in her professional career.

Matthew Berrios

JHU Scholar Cohort: (Cohort 1, 2019)
Hometown: St. Louis, Missouri
Education: Bachelor of Science (BS), Truman State University
Mentor(s): Amanda Brown