COMET Fellows

Class of 2021

Agnes Kagiri

Hello! My name is Agnes Kagiri. I was born and raised in Nyahururu, Kenya then moved to the Bay Area to join my father at a young age of fourteen. Growing up, medical care was almost a privilege. The lack of primary care in my village sparked my desire to work in the medical field. My interest was further reinforced after seeing the health inequities my mother faced in Kenya were similar to those I faced thousands of miles away.

I graduated from the University of California, Merced with a Bachelor of Science in Bioengineering. During my undergraduate career, I was involved in marine biology and biomedical devices research. This gave me an opportunity to work on a graphene based rapid diagnostic device for valley fever, a disease that affects people living in Central Valley and Central Coast California. In the past year, I worked as a research assistant in the immunology lab where I performed peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) processing and sample testing. In addition to gaining expertise in research, this experience reignited my passion for helping others on a more personal level.

By joining the COMET Fellowship, I hope to broaden my knowledge in different medical specialties. I look forward to gaining more clinical experience as I interact with patients and healthcare professionals.

When I am not working, I enjoy spending time with family and friends, mentoring young girls, hiking and listening to music.

Akaansha Varma

Hello! My name is Akaansha Varma, and I currently live in the Sacramento Area. Born and raised in India, I moved to California to pursue my bachelor's degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at UC Davis. My decision to choose medicine stems from an intellectual curiosity about the human biological systems and interest in hearing about people's unique stories.

During my undergraduate career, I had the opportunity to work in a microbiology lab that focused on essential DNA repair mechanisms during meiosis. I currently work at the Bers Lab in the UC Davis Health System, where we explore new avenues for heart failure via rabbit models and cardiac myocytes. I have also been devotedly working as an intern in the cardiology department at UC Davis Health that allowed me to shadow and learn from an incredible cardiology team. My time in a research lab and as an intern at UC Davis Health has reaffirmed my decision to pursue medicine. As a COMET scribe, I look forward to learning from a highly dedicated medical team, contributing to the best of my abilities, and continuing to explore my passions.

Apart from my academic interests, I enjoy being a mentor in the Mentor-Collective Program at UC Davis that guides incoming freshmen through their first year. I am also an avid golfer and a huge foodie who enjoys expanding her flavor palette by trying out different cuisines!

Aline Thiengmany

Hello! My name is Aline Thiengmany, and I was born and raised in Mount Pleasant, Iowa. I recently graduated from Stanford University with a B.S. in Biology.

Growing up in a small town as a child of Lao immigrants, I accompanied my parents to numerous doctor visits. I have discovered the importance of culturally competent care in improving patient outcomes. Those experiences, in addition to my fascination with the human body and desire to care for others, sparked my interest in medicine.

As an undergraduate, I was able to further my commitment to serving medically underserved populations as a volunteer at Arbor Free Clinic intaking patients. Furthermore, I had the opportunity to screen patients in the Emergency Department for social needs and connect them to resources within their local community. My involvement with the Stanford Pre-Med Asian Pacific American Medical Student Association (APAMSA) allowed me to collaborate with other students on campus to address health disparities within the API community. In my free time, you can find me spending time with friends and family, baking, exploring new restaurants, singing, and/or exercising!

I am eager to continue my time in the Bay Area as a COMET fellow and look forward to working alongside physicians and other fellows to effectively serve a diverse patient population. I hope to gain invaluable skills that will prepare me to care for patients from a variety of backgrounds in a culturally sensitive manner.

Amiel Wanta

Hello! My name is Amiel Wanta and I am from San Jose, California. I recently graduated from the University of the Pacific (UOP) with a B.S. in Health and Exercise and Sports Science. In my four years of undergrad, I have had the opportunity to lead work under two different doctors as a medical scribe. Working with two different doctors allowed me to learn more about the specialities of both internal medicine and hematology/oncology. I also served as Vice President and Philanthropy chair for a professional fraternity, Phi Epsilon Kappa, in my college

My interest in healthcare stems from when a typhoon had struck the Philippines. When I was about 5 years old my mother, a nurse, took me and my older sister with her in an ambulance to go around the city to provide help and rescue to those in need. Since then, I knew that I wanted a career that involves caring for those in need.. My goal is to become a physician’s assistant  and to be able to make a difference in patients’ lives.

I am truly grateful to have this opportunity to be a part of this COMET fellowship class. I hope to be able to assist in providing patients with the best healthcare possible. Through this fellowship, I would like to further build on my experiences and learn from other professionals.

Anna Cabot

Hello! My name is Anna Cabot and am from Palo Alto, CA but grew up all over the United States. I recently graduated from UC San Diego with a B.S. in Biology. I’ve known I wanted to pursue a career in healthcare for quite some time but am still searching for my perfect niche. In San Diego I interned with Health Frontiers in Tijuana (HFiT) and spent my weekends crossing the border into Tijuana, Mexico to assist medical students from both UCSD and Universidad Autónoma de Baja (UABC) in running a free clinic. I thrived atop this bustling little soup kitchen, working with what we had. I built ongoing relationships with homeless deportees, many of whom were minorities and sex workers all living on the streets. For the first time, I felt my heart outside of my body. This was my first experience with clinical observation and ultimately led me to COMET.

I am very fortune to be living at home while participating as a COMET fellow—and am looking forward to strengthening my relationships with different types of health care professionals while learning through experience. Before I go back to school for formal medical training, I plan to volunteer with school nurses at local public schools, become a doula, and eventually help open up an abortion clinic in the Midwest where access for many still remains limited.

Bianca Bruzzone

Hello! My name is Bianca Bruzzone and I am excited to join the COMET class of 2020-2021. I am a Bay Area native and recently graduated from the University of San Francisco. There I majored in sociology while also taking pre-med classes. While in school, I worked as a medical assistant and medical receptionist to gain more hands on medical experience.

My interest in medicine has been strong since I was a teenager. As a high school student, I volunteered at a local hospital in order to gain a stronger sense of what a career in medicine would look like. My passion for medicine as a career came from a desire to have the skills needed to make a difference within a community. Once I am fully practicing in the medical field, I plan on volunteering and giving back especially in communities with low access to medical care and medical insurance. As a Mexican-American woman, I am motivated everyday by the sacrifices made by fellow Hispanics, including my own family, in order to provide a safe and healthy life for their families.

I believe that the COMET fellowship will be a unique opportunity for me because it will allow me to gain experience in areas of medicine that I have not yet seen. I am also looking forward to gaining new skills as a COMET fellow. I am extremely grateful to the COMET team for their time and this opportunity!

Bradley Fong

Hi! My name is Bradley Fong and I was born and raised in Southern California. I graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Cell Biology and a minor in Technology Management from the University of California, Davis. I enjoy reading, playing the piano, riding my bike, and listening to all genres of music.

My interest in the health care field began when I volunteered at my community hospital while attending high school. I saw the interactions between doctors, nurses and their patients and the dynamics of the entire health care system. I was inspired to see patients’ health significantly improve after their treatments. My desire to help others heal continued as an intern at Sutter Davis Hospital while attending UC Davis. This opportunity allowed me to work alongside other healthcare professionals in patient care and floor management. My biology education along with the clinical experience reinforced my passion for a career in medicine.

In addition to volunteering, I have enjoyed mentoring students as a UC Davis Global Ambassador, BioLaunch Mentor, Vice-President and Mentorship Co-Chair for Pre-Med AMSA. These programs gave me the opportunity to lead, support and inspire others. I will use these skills I learned and continue to grow and contribute to improve patient care as an aspiring physician.

As a COMET Fellow, I am excited to further my clinical and medical transcription skills and participate in cutting edge research. I am looking forward to expanding my knowledge in the field of medicine and being mentored by distinguished faculty at the Stanford School of Medicine.

Bryson Gomez

Hello everyone! My name is Bryson Gomez, and to say I am excited for the COMET Fellowship is an understatement. I am a Bay Area native, born and raised in San Jose. However, I moved down south for college and attended San Diego State University, from where I just graduated with a B.S. in General Biology. However, what I am most proud of is my extracurricular work outside of the classroom. I had the privilege to serve on the board of Dance Marathon at SDSU, an organization that has raised over $1 million for Rady Children’s Hospital over the past 6 years. I also served as a health educator on campus, leading my peers toward healthier lifestyles, and I currently volunteer at the Crisis Text Line as a crisis counselor, which involves bringing people from a hot crisis to a cool calm.

Sophomore year of college, I realized I no longer wanted to work in a lab for the rest of my life, and I turned to medicine as a potential career path. In medicine I get to work with people, for people, and serve the community that raised me. My set goal now is to be a hospitalist, and COMET is the perfect opportunity to prepare me for my future career, as it will provide me with invaluable clinical experience, a new perspective on healthcare, and many opportunities to learn and grow as a scholar.

Carolina Chong Liao

Hi all! My name is Carolina Chong Liao and I am from Panama City, Panama. I have had the privilege to grow up in three very different countries. I was born in Panama but grew up with my grandparents in China. I eventually returned to my home country and later moved to Laramie, Wyoming for high school and college. I recently graduated from the University of Wyoming with a Bachelor of Science in Physiology and a minor in Honors.

After college I moved to San Francisco and worked at a skilled nursing facility. Currently, I am gaining direct patient contact hours as a Medical Assistant and Client Access Coordinator at Lyon-Martin Health Services and the Women’s Community Clinic. The clinic provides primary care and sexual and reproductive health care to cisgender women and transgender patients. I’ve had the privilege to contribute to numerous hormone replacement sessions, perform phlebotomy and administer injections for transgender patients. My experience in working for minorities, including women and the LQBTQ+ community, has allowed me to gain a lucid understanding of the impact of affordable health care. My time there has strengthened my desire to be physician assistant and care for those in need. 

I am humbled and excited to be a part of the COMET fellowship. It is great learning opportunity to be immersed in clinical knowledge. I look forward to building invaluable relationships with such an outstanding and caring group of people.

Catalina Sun

I was born and raised in the Bay Area, a community with a diverse population. I completed my undergraduate at University of California, San Diego, majoring in Human Biology and a minor in Psychology. During my undergraduate years, I interned at an ophthalmology lab at UCSD, which I continue to work with them even after they moved to Stanford. Research is only one aspect of the medical field I have encountered, and I wanted to experience more of the patient-doctor interaction side. Thus, I have gone on medical missions to Kenya and Puerto Rico, and volunteered at a local homeless clinic to provide the much needed medical care in the underserved communities while learning more about the nuances of the healthcare system and health inequalities that the vulnerable population face. Additionally, I am volunteering at the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center and interning at an IVF clinic to further immerse myself in the medical field.

As a COMET fellow, I look forward to work with the exceptional medical staff to learn what it means to be a well-rounded physician and to provide the best medical care to the patients.

In my free time, I enjoy baking and decorating cakes, volunteering at the local animal shelter, and taking a stroll around the park with my dog.

David Wu

Hi, my name is David Wu, and I am currently a senior at Brown University studying Applied Mathematics and Biology. I am from Clovis, California. My experience receiving care for a hand injury from the time I was injured to the time in the ER to the time I found myself in the surgeon’s office has impressed upon me the great individual and collective effort that is necessary for delivering healthcare.  There was not only the expertise of practice that led to my recovery but also the patience of the support system that helped me among other patients get past obstacles. Due to my interests in both applied math and biology, I have conducted bioinformatics research at Brown University. We analyzed statistical associations between genetic variants and their phenotypes. From this experience I was able to connect with the burgeoning applications of clinical genetics with pathophysiology.

From the opportunity to shadow physicians and medical students I have been able to reflect on their passion in medicine that has served to inspire me to choose medicine. I am excited to begin work as a COMET Fellow, and I am grateful for the opportunity to learn from Stanford faculty and staff in a clinic setting.

In my free time I enjoy playing volleyball, playing the piano, reading, tutoring, and hiking.

Elyse Gonzales

Hello! My name is Elyse Gonzales and I am from San Jose, California. I recently graduated from the University of Southern California with a B.S. in Human Biology, emphasis in Applied Physiology.

As the daughter of two primary care physicians, I grew up around medicine. While my parents never pushed me towards a career as a physician, they did instill in me a passion for medicine and humanistic patient care. Stubbornly, I tried to fight this, even taking up a Music Industry minor and briefly considering a career in music publishing. However, the more I immersed myself in health care, the more I realized that I could not picture myself in any other field. Volunteering and shadowing at California Hospital Medical Center, a hospital in downtown Los Angeles, was an integral part of my undergraduate career. Through this, I was able to work with homeless and Spanish speaking patients, directly influencing my desire to work with underserved populations in the future.  

I am thrilled to be a COMET fellow. I look forward to learning from and working alongside Stanford health care providers and immersing myself in a collaborative clinical environment that provides compassionate care. 

In my free time, I love to train in martial arts (I am a third degree black belt in taekwondo and volunteer as a taekwondo instructor for children with physical and cognitive disabilities), discover new music, and spend time with my family and friends. 

Halee Yue

Hello! My name is Halee. I was born and raised in Elk Grove, California. I attended UC Berkeley and recently graduated with a degree in Molecular and Cell Biology with an emphasis in Developmental Genetics. As an undergraduate student, I worked as a research assistant at the Center for Human Sleep Science, as well as at UC Berkeley’s Myopia Research Lab.

I have a passion for helping people with special needs. In high school, I founded and coached Elk Grove’s Special Olympics track and field team. At UC Berkeley, I became a part of the Down Syndrome Community Outreach club, and I shadowed a pediatrician at the Down Syndrome clinic at UCSF Children’s Hospital. Witnessing the pediatrician’s seamless ability to treat all of her patients with immense care and empathy has motivated me to pursue a career in medicine. Through Global Medical Training, I have also discovered my interest in international medicine and public health. In 2018, I traveled to the Darien province of Panama on a medical mission trip in which I assisted local doctors in serving indigenous communities. I hope to one day participate in more international medical missions as a physician.

I am so excited to join the COMET Fellowship Program as I embark on this next chapter of my life. I hope to gain more hands-on experience within the medical field and to learn as much as I can from the Stanford medical faculty as well as from my peers.

During my free time, I enjoy swimming, playing tennis, and playing with my dog. I also enjoy trying new things, especially when it comes to food!

Elly Hickey

Hello! I am a South Carolina native and I will be graduating from Clemson University with a B.A. in Biological Sciences and a minor in Spanish Studies. I aspire to become a physician assistant, with a specific focus on serving vulnerable communities. Through this vocation, I strive to make a positive impact on the lives I encounter.

Throughout undergrad, I have worked as a nurse assistant in two hospitals, an experience which has solidified my passion for medicine. I also volunteered in an interdisciplinary health center on my university’s campus. During my time there I learned the importance of health promotion and education, and saw firsthand the gaps in health care present in my local community. During my junior year, I was able to gain global medical insight during my time in Costa Rica, where I interned in a local municipal hospital. Out of all these opportunities, one of my favorite experiences thus far was conducting clinical research at a Shriners Hospitals for Children, where I collected data for two different studies.  The staff created such a positive and uplifting environment for a vulnerable patient population and I hope to emulate this style of care with my own patients.  

I am so excited to begin this part of my health care journey as a COMET fellow and I look forward to working alongside the physicians and fellows. I hope to continue to expand my knowledge and broaden my perspective of the field of medicine in order to best serve my future patients. In my free time, I enjoy running, petting every dog that I encounter, and exploring new places.

Jacqueline Anderson Enni

Hi! My name is Bella Anderson Enni and I’m a Bay Area native from Sunnyvale.  I moved to San Diego 5 years ago to attend the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) and I recently graduated with both a Bachelor of Science in Human Biology and Bachelor of Arts in Dance.  I chose to complement my pre-med studies with dance after spending many years dancing competitively and I believe that movement is an important tool for mental and physical wellbeing.      

As an undergraduate, I participated in a volunteer peer tutoring program and I remotely collaborated with physicians at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center to collect data and write a manuscript regarding hypoglycemia in newborns.  I was also on the leader’s council for an all-female philanthropic organization that raised nearly $30,000 for the Arthritis Foundation in 4 years.  During my last year as an undergraduate, I began a research project focused on cardiac inflammatory pathways and the role of inflammation in the progression to heart failure.  This study became the focus of my thesis and I am currently preparing to graduate with a Master of Biology from UCSD.  

I am excited to return to the Bay and be a part of the COMET class of 2020-2021!  I am especially looking forward to interacting directly with healthcare providers and patients at the bedside, practicing medical terminology, and becoming comfortable in a hospital environment.  I plan on spending the next year tackling the MCAT and medical school applications so I can begin fulfilling my goal of becoming a physician.  

Jamie Calma

Hello, my name is Jamie and I will be graduating from University of California, Berkeley with a degree in Molecular and Cell Biology. I was born and raised in the Philippines and immigrated here in the Bay Area in 2010.

As an undergraduate, I was involved in multiple research experiences. I went from working with determining whether vacuolar size affects pH in Saccharomyces cerevisiae to characterizing resistance in tomato against the pathogenesis of Pseudomonas syringae. I initially aspired to become a research scientist due to my interest in science, but later transitioned to medicine.

My path to medicine started when the privileges and opportunities that came along immigrating to the US became emphasized in my studies. It has provided me a space to be educated about the health disparities and issues occurring in underserved communities globally and locally, which transformed my aspirations to gaining the ability to directly impact communities. When I went back to the Philippines as a student volunteer to serve an underserved community in the Philippines, the patient interaction I experienced as a translator for doctors and as a student shadow reaffirmed my desire and passion to pursue medicine.

Beyond research and striving to become a better applicant for medical school, I enjoy photography, traveling and mentoring the youth and community college students, being a transfer student myself.

I am beyond ecstatic to become a COMET fellow. I look forward to deeply observing what it entails to become a physician and gaining mentors that could guide me to become the best medical professional I could be for the community.

Joseph Yeb

Hello, my name is Joseph! I am a Boston native, and a recent graduate from Boston University for undergrad, where I received my Bachelor’s in Health Science. I’ve always had a passion for wanting to help others, and struggled during undergrad trying to realize that goal. Through multiple clinical work settings, mentors, and travel, I came to the conclusion that being an M.D is not the only way to help people. My long term career goal is to become a Nurse Practitioner, who is able to be a patient advocate first and foremost, while continuing research addressing disparities in health outcomes.

I am interested in health advocacy across diverse communities and currently study the intersectionality between social determinants of health and disparities in health outcomes. Ultimately, I am driven to learn more about what we as scientists and health professionals can do to foster healthier communities across America. A​ s a Latino male interested in Pediatrics, I am largely underrepresented in Nursing. Representation matters, as I hope to destigmatize the culture around male nurses. In my free time, I work as an EMT, and enjoy running!

As a COMET Fellow, I am looking forward to an unparalleled opportunity to work with talented faculty providing world class patient care, but to grow into a patient advocate, learning with like minded peers along the way!

Kevin Liu

Hi! I’m Kevin Liu, born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii. I am a recent graduate from Carnegie Mellon University with a B.S. in biological sciences. I am excited to be a part of the COMET Fellowship for the next year!

Biology has been an area that I have been passionate about for a long time and I wanted to pursue a career related to it. Through my courses as an undergraduate in biology and physiology I found myself increasingly fascinated by these fields. I volunteered at Queen’s Medical Center in Honolulu and at UPMC in Pittsburgh doing patient experience roles, and I found it really enjoyable to connect with patients and help brighten their day, even if it is just a bit. At CMU, I was also given the opportunity to TA for the genetics and biochemistry laboratory courses, and it was a rewarding experience to help students and watch their growth over the year. With all of that in mind, I wanted to do something that I was passionate about intellectually while also being able to help others through direct interactions, and becoming a doctor fits that role. Through the COMET program I hope to be able to expand my horizons on healthcare and gain a deeper understanding of medicine. In my free time I like to read and hike, and I hope to get better at cooking!

Marleni Albarran

Hello! I grew up in the Bay Area. I attended UC Santa Cruz (UCSC) where I majored in Neuroscience. During my time at UCSC, I was most involved in an organization called Camp Kesem. Camp Kesem is a nonprofit organization that works towards providing free support services to children whose parents have been impacted by cancer. I worked closely with camper families and provided them with additional support or resources they needed. I learned how life changing our work can be for these children and their families as they go through these tough times.

At UCSC, I was also able to participate in pediatric cancer research with the Treehouse Childhood Cancer Initiative on campus. This lab worked towards discovering better treatments for pediatric patients with difficult-to-treat cancers. This lab is also involved with the Jacob’s Heart foundation, which provides support to families who have had a child diagnosed with cancer. Thus, not only was I able to support pediatric patients through my work in the lab, but by volunteering my time with Jacob's Heart by assembling care packages, fundraising, and supporting the organization in many other tasks.

Through my work in Camp Kesem, Jacob’s Heart, and volunteering with Hospice patients for a while, I discovered how much I enjoy supporting others through their tough times as best as I can. I particularly love the one on one interactions that I have with all the kids as well as the hospice patients.

In my free time, I enjoy painting, baking and going on long hikes. I also love spending time with my five dogs and family!

I am incredibly excited and honored to be a part of the COMET fellowship. I am eager to gain insight and experiences that will support me in a future career in medicine.

Mayra Reyes

Hi! My name is Mayra Lisette. I was born and raised in Madera, CA. I graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a B.A. in Anthropology. Growing up as a first generation student in a low income community I was taught the importance of helping out and standing up for underrepresented and underserved communities. My interest in medicine and the healthcare field isn’t the most unique, however, my passion and drive come from personal upbringings and experiences which my family and I have encountered throughout the years. I took a nontraditional route towards medicine at UC Berkeley because I became intrigued in the interdisciplinary work anthropology had to offer. My anthropological degree and experiences have allowed me to think critically about certain aspects of the biomedical models and healthcare systems, patient-physician interactions, accessibility and quality of healthcare, and holistic medical care. 

Inspired by my mentors from Cal Sports Medicine and the UC Berkeley Quaternary Paleoecology Laboratory I studied abroad my last year of undergraduate. I had the privilege to do ethnographic field research in Queretaro, Mexico where I studied how national and international policies have impacted the inclusion of traditional medicine in biomedical models and health care systems. This spring, I continued my field research and attended the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM).  

 I am humbled and excited to be a part of the incoming COMET Fellowship class. I hope to strengthen my medical and clinical experience as well as receive invaluable exposure and the mentorship I need to be the best possible physician I could be. This unique opportunity will allow me to obtain intensive direct patient care experience before applying to medical school. I am ready to apply my knowledge and understanding as a medical scribe while being exposed to invaluable clinical experience while I continue to strive towards a medical career.

In my free time, I enjoy being outdoors mushroom hunting, flower pressing, reading, playing my guitar and running. 

Mei Keck

My name is Mei-Le Keck, but I go by Mei. I was raised in the California Bay Area and graduated from college at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) with a B.A. in Philosophy and a minor in Society and Genetics. I realized my senior year of college while interning at UCLA’s Ronald Reagan Hospital that I wanted to be in healthcare. After graduating from UCLA, I started taking my medical school pre-requisites at UC Berkeley Extension while simultaneously working as a Research Assistant at Stanford Pathology and volunteering in healthcare settings. My research included vaccine design for the hepatitis C virus and clinical research regarding the hepatitis E virus.

I believe healthcare is a basic human right and because of this, I am attuned to the healthcare disparities in this country based in large part on, but by no means limited to, race, income, and immigration status. Within the healthcare equality spectrum, I am passionate about LGBTQIA health, womxn’s reproductive health, and addressing racial health care disparities due to systemic racism. It is my goal at COMET to be a patient advocate, engage in the fellowship wholeheartedly, and grow to be a better healthcare worker. I am grateful for this opportunity to be a part of Stanford Healthcare and aid in the care of my community.

Miranda Shum

Hi, I’m Miranda! I grew up here in Palo Alto, California. For college, I ventured across the country to Nashville to attend Vanderbilt University. I majored in Piano Performance at the Blair School of Music, studying under Dr. Craig Nies. I was both a music major and a pre-med student, an unusual combination but an experience that has given me a valuable perspective.

My interest in medicine began first when my grandfather passed away from pancreatic cancer, then when I watched my sister suffer from Graves’ disease. I am passionate about helping others and believe everybody deserves to be healthy. I love learning about the human body and want to use my knowledge to give back to my community.

I enjoyed a myriad of activities in college. I did research in Dr. Timothy Cover’s lab and studied H. pylori, a bacterium that can cause gastric cancer. I presented my findings at various research symposiums. I also shadowed many doctors and volunteered at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Most notably, I shadowed an endocrine surgeon who shed light on my sister’s condition and I used my music talent to perform music for patients in the ICU, witnessing the power of music. I was also fortunate to win the MTNA National Chamber Music competition with my piano quintet and make my orchestral debut with the Vanderbilt Orchestra.

In my spare time, I love to cook, swim, and take photos. I’m looking forward to working as a COMET fellow and meeting the faculty, mentors, and my peers!

Paulina Lomba

Hi! My name is Paulina, and I was born and raised in southern California. I graduated from Chapman University in Orange, California with a B.S. in Health Science. My time at Chapman was spent involved in many clubs and organizations, including my experience being president of my sorority, Kappa Kappa Gamma. This participation helped me refine my communication and leadership skills on my journey to becoming a physician assistant.

Since graduation, I have obtained a medical assisting certification and seized opportunities to shadow healthcare professionals to further my knowledge and contact with patients. The opportunities the COMET fellowship can provide are unique to other healthcare experiences I’ve had in the past. From interactions with physicians and mentors invested in my success, to clinical and research experience, this program has the potential to provide me with valuable tools for a career in the medical field. My ultimate goal in becoming a healthcare professional is to combine my personal experiences and academic achievements to deliver well rounded care to future patients.

Outside of my academics, I have an affinity towards giving back to others and helping them achieve their goals. In the past I have volunteered with various organizations and even became a mentor to others inside and outside a classroom. In my free time, I find enjoyment in participating in outdoor activities, cooking, reading, and seeking new experiences.

Phoebe Zhang

Hi! My name is Phoebe, and I’m 22 years old. I’m originally from New Jersey, but I did my undergrad at UC San Diego, majoring in Human Biology and minoring in Bioethics. I studied human biology because my goal is to become a cardiothoracic surgeon and researcher. I also studied bioethics because I’m interested in the moral and philosophical questions surrounding the medical field, especially as it’s becoming increasingly affected by politics.

I’ve conducted research on a specific gene in drosophila melanogaster (fruit flies) that is similar to one in humans that may have the potential to reverse heart fibrosis and help heart disease patients. I’ve also spent a lot of time volunteering with Healing Hearts Across Borders (HHAB) in clinics in Tijuana, Mexico and at a local, children’s hospital. I am excited to partake in the COMET Fellowship because it will be invaluable clinical experience. I look forward to learning from the medical team at Stanford and getting to know the other scribes with similar goals and passion for medicine.

Some of my hobbies include traveling and reading. I love learning about people from different walks of life, whether it be directly or indirectly. An interesting fact about me is that I play piano and violin. For piano, I’ve performed at many concert halls in New York, including twice at Carnegie Hall. For violin, I’ve performed in several European countries.

Rachna Sahasrabudhe

Hello! My name is Rachna Sahasrabudhe and I recently moved to the Bay Area. I spent the last four years as a Psychology major at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. I moved between India and the USA for most of my life, exposing me to different approaches to healthcare.

I have wanted to be a physician for as long as I can remember. But, my goals as a prospective doctor became clearer during college. As I visited family back in India every break, I had the opportunity to continue work at a rural medical school. With the community health department, we held vaccination advocacy camps for the local community. Many villagers started to vaccinate themselves and their children and, thus, I realized the impact of basic public health education. I also realized my passion for service within medicine and continued to give back as much as I could during college. Similarly, my time with Big Brothers Big Sisters will be cherished forever. The children’s resilience in every aspect of their lives was inspiring. I have learnt that invoking a sense of curiosity, pride and engagement in children can go a long way. Because of these experiences, I hope to work in pediatrics after medical school.

The COMET fellowship allows me to enhance my clinical experience by giving me first-hand knowledge of physician-patient interactions. In addition, I look forward to meeting new people and expanding my own horizons while working with my peers in the coming months!

Randy Lin

Hello! My name is Randy Lin and I am from Santa Clara, California. I graduated from UCLA with a B.S. in Biochemistry. In my spare time I enjoy playing and watching basketball, exploring the outdoors and reconnecting with my Taiwanese roots through cooking, like perfecting my beef noodle soup recipe.

My initial exposure to medicine came from volunteering in a hospice where I gained insight on palliative care and provided resources to help grieving families navigate their bereavement process. Learning to exercise compassion for families during their process of healing motivated me to explore my growing interest in medicine. After UCLA, I worked on a translational project at Stanford School of Medicine with a collaborative team of clinicians and scientists developing and screening aminoglycoside antibiotic derivatives with reduced ototoxicity. I also learned the myriad of research within the field finding ways to prevent, repair and restore hearing to ultimately improve patients’ hearing health. Additionally, I complemented my involvement in hearing research by volunteering as a newborn hearing screener at the children’s hospital. This opportunity exposed me to patient engagement while I contributed to a cooperative healthcare team of nurses and physicians ensuring newborns are primed for healthy development. Altogether, these experiences inspire me to increase my exposure to patients and clinical observations.

I am excited to be joining the Class of 2020-2021 COMET Fellows. This unique learning opportunity will diversify my clinical experience and offer me the opportunity to participate in clinical research. I look forward to learn and receive guidance from Stanford physicians and faculty mentors as I build a foundation of clinical knowledge and skills that will help me toward my aspiration of becoming a physician.

Randy Nhan

Hello! My name is Randy and I am from the Bay Area. I graduated from Chapman University in Orange County. While I was there, I received a Bachelor of Science in Biology. My interest in science stems from my personal experience dealing with temporary paralysis. Over the years, it has made me more aware of those who were in a similar situation. It became my connection to medicine and motivation to help others in their endeavors.

This unforeseen experience led me to find a program where I could assist vulnerable youths, who faced similar circumstances in their own life. At the same time, I had the opportunity to mentor and tutor students to help explore a possible career in the field of STEM. After graduation, I sought out clinical experience, not only to understand the diversity of healthcare but also to confirm that this is indeed the future I wish to pursue. Transitioning myself to a clinical setting as a health screener for HealthySteps has allowed me to engage with patients to ensure they were up to date with their annual health screenings and ways to improve their wellbeing.

It is a privilege to be a part of the COMET Fellowship and I am excited to learn from Stanford providers in delivering quality care to patients. I do not view this simply as an opportunity for myself, but also as a support for patients and other fellows who are also finding their own footing in healthcare.

Sabrina Sangha

My name is Sabrina Sangha, and I graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara with a Bachelor of Science in Biopsychology and a minor in Applied Pyschology. My experience in the Santa Barbara community developed my interest in pursuing a medical profession. I was able to work with some of the most influential scientists as a research assistant, working towards finding answers to issues in disease ecology and biology. In addition, I had the opportunity to intern for Vascular BioSciences, where I gained experience in the biopharmaceutical and biotechnology sectors. I also worked alongside medical professionals in my position as a clinical assistant for UCSB’s Student Health facility. The experiences helped me to realize that I want to further medical research to find and target disease, to better the quality of healthcare that is delivered to those suffering from life-changing health issues.

Growing up in both the US and the UK, I had the opportunity to be immersed in different cultures and lifestyles. My exposure to communities with and without essential resources led to my passion and appreciation for medicine and helping others. I hope to one day provide healthcare for those less fortunate and help to develop the field of medicine to enhance the quality of care delivered.

I look forward to being a part of the Stanford COMET Fellowship, where I will be able to add to my clinical experience to better prepare myself for my future as a healthcare professional.

Sai Priyanka Kodam

Hello! I am Priyanka, I was born and raised in India. I completed my medical school in India and currently an ECFMG certified physician on my path to pursuing medical residency.

Throughout my formative years, I was surrounded by people who looked out for others. It then became a natural part of my lifestyle. After joining medical school, making a difference in people’s lives by relieving their pain and discomfort was something that I looked forward to every day. I rotated in the Departments of Internal Medicine, Surgery, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Pediatrics, and allied specialties.  I took part in annual mass vaccination campaigns for Polio prevention. This included setting up booths and administering the vaccine to the children while creating awareness about the importance of vaccinations in the rural population. I could see the health care disparity due to lack of accessibility and quality of care in certain populations. I hope to work towards bridging this gap by bringing accessible health care closer to the underserved communities.

After graduating, I had the opportunity to work in Step Down ICU in a tertiary care center. I cared for terminally ill patients and patients with severe respiratory illnesses maintained on tracheostomy, by collaborating their treatment with the specialists. It was the most crucial part of my career. Working independently in a stressful and fast-paced environment has given me a deeper understanding of being a physician.

After moving to the United States, I have been volunteering with Vibha, a non-profit organization, to raise funds for the education of underprivileged kids. I was the Team Lead for the Annual art competitions and a Core Committee member for organizing the annual 5K runs. In my spare time, you will find me making wall art, creating mandalas, sculpting clay, reading a novel, or gardening.

I'm incredibly excited about this opportunity to train under Stanford faculty while learning more about the healthcare system in the United States. I believe the COMET fellowship is a unique opportunity that would take me another step closer to my final goal.

Sanjana Rajasekaran

Hi, my name is Sanjana. I’m from Ojai, California and graduated from the University of California Irvine in 2014, with a degree in English. Due to physical health challenges, I waited to heal before I decided in my heart that I want to pursue a career in health care. Although Ive had a deep, quiet, curiosity for the field of medicine, for as long as I can remember, I didn’t see how captivated I was with it until I understood the power of how it shaped my own life. Through a diagnosis of Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis at age 14, a new way of listening was opened, one that seemed passive but taught me extraordinary things. Three years later, unexpectedly, my mother was diagnosed with Stage IV Ovarian Cancer. My parents are from India and navigating subtle cultural perceptions of health care was something I was able to see within my own family. Doctor’s visits, and concern about health became a natural part of life. It occurred to me later on that I was inspired by every moment I spent within the health care system, as an informal observer as well as in the role of a patient. I was comforted by the fact that I was receiving excellent care, and this continuous long term exposure allowed me to think in stronger ways to piece together how to overcome any challenges, from multiple perspectives. Although my journey with health was not easy, I grew into a place of acceptance, strength and sense of self from this challenge over time. I could feel it was aligned with who I wanted to be in order to live a life that would give me meaning, and once I gained a stronghold on my physical health, it felt possible and beautiful to embrace the world that helped me, in order to this time, give back and pay it forward. 

Two moments stand out to me over the years from my personal journey: the moment I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s and another, where I would witness my mother receiving end of life care in the late summer and fall of 2015. I gained a sense of hope as a then visitor in that environment and never imagined then I would awaken to the fact that I am devoted to this path. My goal and dream is to be a dermatologist. I want to play a role in patient centered care, with an eye on preventative care, and add to the quality of life of my future patients and in a direct way, to the best of my ability and commitment to training, help them find strength and purpose in their own health journeys. 

Trevor Larson

Hello! My name is Trevor Larson. I grew up in Seattle, Washington and graduated from UC Berkeley with a B.A. in Integrative Biology in 2015. Throughout my life I have spent much of my time outdoors playing sports, camping, hiking, and fly-fishing.

My love for the outdoors and my desire to help people led me to work with Evoke Therapy Programs at Entrada, a wilderness therapy program focused on addressing mental health and addiction. As a Senior Wilderness Therapy Field Instructor at Evoke, I lived and worked with adolescent and young adult groups in the wilderness of Southwest Utah. Working with an integrated team of therapists, nurses, logistics managers, field staff, and clients, I provided whole-health and individual & group therapy treatments. Most recently, I conducted human subjects research on driver attention in semi-autonomous vehicles with Professor David Strayer’s Applied Cognition Lab at the University of Utah.

I am thrilled to be a part of the COMET Fellowship and to have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience, learn, and grow alongside Stanford faculty, healthcare professionals, and other COMET fellows.