COMET Fellows

Class of 2017 - 2018

Andrew Yoon

Hello! I am a Bay Area native aspiring to become a physician assistant. My goal is to one day provide excellent patient-centered care while also participating in research and student mentorship. I strongly believe in quality of life and aim to treat every patient with respect and dignity regardless of their age, ethnicity, or ideology.​

Throughout four years at UC Irvine I had many wonderful opportunities to explore my interests in science and healthcare. During my sophomore year I conducted undergraduate research at UCI Medical Center, in which I examined the use of pancreatic islet encapsulation in treating diabetes. Through research I got a taste of just how much hard work is done behind the scenes of every medical breakthrough. During my junior year summer I went on a medical mission in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Through the experience I learned the profound effect that a warm smile has on communicating care towards others. Aside from that, I volunteered at UCI Medical Center, tutored organic chemistry, and worked as a medical assistant at a family medicine office.

Upon completing my B.S. in Human Biology at UCI I moved back home and gained more hands-on experience by working as an EMT for AMR in Burlingame. After one year of EMT work I am excited to return to a clinical setting and take advantage of the unique learning environment that the COMET fellowship will provide. On my free time I enjoy surfing, hiking, reading and playing basketball.


Anu Tirupasur

My initial interest in caring for people emanates from a childhood incident with a family member which created a great intrigue for medicine in me. I did my undergrad at UC Riverside and then pursued a Masters in Health Care Administration. At UCR, I joined the Mini Medical School volunteer group where we put together presentations on prevention of common, complex and chronic health conditions for the under privileged and the Riverside community. I was fascinated by how increased awareness helped prevent common health issues in various age groups.

During my graduate studies in Healthcare Administration to fulfill an internship requirement, I became an intern at an outreach center in Bakersfield, California. At this time, I learnt about the struggles and concerns of the underprivileged community that were unaddressed. This became my primary focus and I educated them with the health care options available based on their eligibility. Their gratitude was so rewarding that it strengthened my goal of becoming a PA where I can have direct contact with patients and be able to deliver quality care. PA is a career that I believe will help me grow personally and professionally. The growth is reciprocal compared to other careers.

Through COMET I hope to learn how to deliver quality care to patients within any healthcare setting in today's changing healthcare environment alongside an experienced physician. With this fellowship, I hope to make a significant contribution to patients, the community, and to the profession itself.


Bianca Kennel

I graduated from Santa Clara University in June 2016 with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and Public Health Science. Although I traveled around the globe as a child, I consider the San Francisco Bay Area to be my home. I am passionate about health and wellness, and strive to provide patients with the best quality care. Throughout my undergraduate career, I have sought opportunities to engage in my community and beyond. I helped lead my university’s Peer Health Education program to raise awareness about prevalent health issues, and I also volunteered in Ghana to help provide clinical care to an underserved village. I want to dedicate my career to helping others and providing exceptional patient care.

My ambition is to become a Physician Assistant with a Masters in Public Health. I look forward to combining my efforts with other professionals to provide quality, client-centered care, while also developing conceptual frameworks to address population-level health disparities and advocate for health equity.  The COMET Fellowship will afford me the invaluable opportunity to gain tools that will equip me for a career in the medical field that can indeed make a lasting impact on patients in all communities, especially those marginalized or underserved. In my spare time, I enjoy hiking and staying active with my friends and family.


Jamie Yang

Hi, my name is Jamie Yang, and I was born and raised in Los Altos, California. This spring I will receive my B.S. in Biological Sciences/Neuroscience track with a minor in Biomedical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University (CMU). During my time at CMU, my passion for service led me to want to become a physician. In addition to being a long-time volunteer helping families in the Emergency Department at the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, I am the current Vice President of Project Sunshine, which is an organization dedicated to bringing fun and play to young children facing medical challenges. I also went on a Global Medical Brigades with a group of students and doctors to provide healthcare in impoverished areas in Nicaragua. These experiences not only opened my eyes to the disparities in healthcare, but also exposed me to the very special doctor-patient relationship of trust and compassion that I’ve learned to admire and one day emulate in the future. I am currently applying to medical school, and hope to become a pediatrician or family medicine doctor and provide care in underserved communities one day.

Additionally, I am interested in research on mental health, and I recently completed an honors undergraduate thesis examining the efficacy of a novel treatment towards clinical anxiety. In my free time, I like playing volleyball as a setter, painting, trying new foods, watching movies, and exercising!


Jennifer Milan

I learned the importance of health at eleven years old when my mother was diagnosed with idiopathic thrombocytopenia purpura (ITP), an autoimmune disease that chronically made her platelet count low. Growing up, I saw her suffer from side-effects of steroids, constant bleeding and bruising, and hospitalizations. Seeing her struggle left a deep impression on me and ignited my desire to help others through medicine.

Unsure of which professional path to take, I volunteered at various places: a rehabilitation center at the Institute on Aging, Seton Medical Center under the Hospitality Program, the Friendship Line to provide emotional support to adults nationwide, and Peer Health Exchange to educate students at low-income, urban high schools. These, coupled with shadowing countless people working in health, opened my eyes to how multifarious medicine can be. After much exploration, I eventually discovered my dream career: physician assistant.

Presently, I am working on my B.S. degree in Physiology and am expecting to graduate from San Francisco State University in the fall semester of 2017. Additionally, I work on-campus as an anatomy teaching assistant and supplementary instructor for introductory courses in science. I am also the president of the Pre-Physician Assistant Society.

As a COMET fellow, I am given a unique opportunity to gain clinical and research experience, as well as invaluable mentorship from a faculty invested in my future. With a compassionate heart, I aspire to deliver quality care focusing on education, wellness, and preventative medicine to make a positive difference in people’s lives.


Julia Hafer

Hi there! I’m a Bay Area native, and I just graduated from Stanford University in 2017 with a B.S. in Biology. As an undergrad, I split my time between my interest in marine biology and my passion for health and education. I worked on research projects ranging from coral adaptation in American Samoa to patient engagement right here at Stanford Hospital. I volunteered for several years with Stanford’s Pacific Free Clinic in San Jose and with HELP4Kids, where I helped create and teach health curriculum in middle school classrooms in Redwood City. During my college career, I became particularly interested in studying preventive medicine and patient-provider relationships, and I’m so excited to further explore these interests through the COMET Fellowship. My goal is to eventually pursue a career in medicine—possibly as a pediatrician—and COMET is the perfect place to start! Outside of COMET, I love to hike, bake, cook, and watch deep sea documentaries. 


Kevin Lee

Hello! I am extremely blessed to be born and raised in beautiful California and have lived as a local bay area native for more than 23 years. In the summer of 2016, I achieved my undergraduate degree at UC San Diego, earning a bachelor’s in Neuroscience & Physiology. I am also currently working as an Emergency Medical Technician for WestMed Ambulance stationed in Sunnyvale, CA.

During my time at UC San Diego, I’ve studied extensive courses on the brain and the human body, which has given me a new perspective and appreciation that the human life is extremely complex yet fine-tuned at the same time. In addition, working as an EMT has not only challenged me to work hard and have self-discipline, but it has also granted me first hand training with patient assessment and care. One of my most vivid moments out in the field was a call we had in Oakland responding to a gang violence incident. The rigorous training, preparation and harnessing the versatility to adapt to any situation allowed us to save many lives that day.

Through all these experiences, I developed a passion and dream to strive to become a Physician Assistant because I have learned that life itself is sacred and precious. On my spare time, I enjoy making silly music videos while singing and playing the guitar. I also am an avid basketball fan. Go Warriors!


Laurel Sharpless

Growing up in Houston, Texas, I struggled with acne from a young age. This led to numerous dermatology visits and countless acne medications prescribed well into my twenties. While some may find acne an annoying curse, it ignited my passion to become a physician.

I moved to Austin, Texas to complete my undergraduate education at The University of Texas at Austin where I earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology with a Pre-Health minor. While there, I joined the Dell Pediatric Research Institute where I was a research assistant in Dr. John Digiovanni’s lab. Under him, I worked on developing treatments in hopes of preventing the progression of premalignant skin lesions to skin cancer. During my time in college, I also went on two separate trips abroad to the Dominican Republic in order to help provide free clinics for the residents there. This rewarding experience allowed me to help people who really needed it and witness the true positive impact health care has on peoples’ lives.

An exceptional opportunity I had was being a Houston Texans Cheerleader. This position enabled me to interact with fans, which I found I thoroughly enjoyed. As a physician, I aim to be able to interact with patients in the same manor since I believe it is important to make patients feel as comfortable as possible. Exclusive training with the COMET Fellowship will facilitate my ambition to become a physician, permit me to help people, and give me knowledge unparalleled by any other experience I’ve had.


Liz Jahng

I was born in South Korea and my family moved to the Bay Area so that my siblings and I could have a better opportunity for education. I grew up watching my father work in the field of medicine as a neurosurgeon, and it sparked an early interest. As I earned my bachelor’s degree in Psychology at Washington University in St. Louis, I engaged in many volunteering opportunities to explore the field of healthcare.

During a service trip, I had the opportunity to assist young patients that had undergone major scoliosis surgeries. On the very last day of the trip, I was able to see the patients walking and smiling as they left the hospital. It was the closest experience to what a physician would feel when seeing their patients improve, and it was the profoundest experience of my life.

Through those experiences, I decided that healing others was something I wanted to pursue for the rest of my life. My dream is to become a physician that can extend their expertise beyond the scope of the community that we live in, and to treat each patient with compassion and support on all levels. I hope to be a culturally competent physician that can effectively treat all people, regardless of their background.

I believe that the COMET fellowship will be a truly valuable experience that will help bridge the transition to medical school, and I look forward to becoming a part of the clinical experience as a medical scribe.


Priyanka Suresh

I grew up in England and graduated with a degree in medicine from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne (2013). I then worked as a junior doctor in the National Health Service rotating through surgery, internal medicine and pediatrics. My interest in global health and preventative medicine developed through various volunteer experiences and during my medical electives in the University of Michigan and Christian Medical College, Vellore, India – which focused on healthcare for the rural poor and highlighted the challenges faced by these communities to access good quality healthcare. Such distinctive experiences gave me a global insight into healthcare whilst helping me to become a well-rounded physician. I relocated to California after meeting my amazing husband. After spending some time travelling the USA, I joined the LaBeaud Lab at Stanford where I am involved research to identify the risk factors and long-term consequences of arboviral infections. I am currently preparing to pursue residency training in family medicine and I am excited to be part of the COMET fellowship which provides me with an excellent opportunity to re-connect with clinical medicine in a different healthcare system and interact with a diverse patient population in the Bay Area. In my free time I enjoy travelling, singing and playing piano.


Terry Lou

Hi! I was originally born in San Francisco and then moved to live in Shanghai, China for 10 years. After graduating high school, I returned to the Bay Area and studied nutritional science at UC Berkeley. In college, I had the opportunity to volunteer as an English-Mandarin interpreter through Volunteer Health Interpreters Organization, which broadened my understanding of the health inequities that persist in my community. As I saw how health is a critical matter that affects everyone, my interest in medicine grew with my desire to care for people in this personal, intimate area of their lives.

As a COMET fellow, I look forward to working alongside Stanford’s medical staff to care for patients from all walks of life. Through this opportunity, I hope to refine my understanding of preventative health while developing my ability to empathize and care for patients, all in hopes of one day becoming a physician who practices compassion and holistic care.