Current Students & Alumni
First Years (Class of 2022)
Beatriz (Bea) Anguiano is originally from South Los Angeles. She received her bachelor’s degree in 2014 at UC Davis in Psychology & Chicana/o Studies, with a minor in Human Development. Then in 2015, she completed the Stanford Prevention Research Center’s Health 4 All fellows certificate program. For the past four years, Beatriz has worked as a Bilingual (English/Spanish) Research Associate at UCSF on NIH-funded grants exploring the application of genomics in prenatal and pediatric populations. Her research experience includes working in projects related to Newborn Screening, Biobanks, the Ethical, Legal, and Social Implications (ELSI) of genomic research, ethnography, and deliberative community engagement forums. She has gained exposure to Genetic Counseling in her role on The Program in Prenatal and Pediatric Genomic Sequencing research study. During her free time, Beatriz likes to play board games, complete puzzles, make banana bread, cook delicious Mexican food, listen to true crime podcasts, and take hikes.
Claire Barton is from Los Gatos, California and earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from Vanderbilt University in 2019. As an undergraduate, she worked as a research assistant with a team creating a large database of cancer patients with various inherited genetic mutations. Part of her work included educating the study’s participants about their mutations and the pro-bono genetic counseling services offered by the team. Claire was also active in the Tennessee genetic counseling community, and helped found Vanderbilt’s genetic counseling club. After graduation, she moved to Madrid, Spain where she taught English to high school students and met with the Spanish healthcare professionals expanding the genetic counseling field in Europe. In her free time, Claire enjoys cooking new vegetarian recipes, practicing yoga, rock climbing, and keeping up with synchronized swimming since her retirement from the US national team.
Kirsten Blanco is from Orange County, California and graduated from UCLA in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience. As an undergraduate, she worked in physician and medical resident wellness in addition to volunteering teaching yoga and nutrition to elementary and middle school children at the UCLA Community School. Since graduating, she has taken on many roles in Clinical Affairs Research at Ambry Genetics under the guidance of many genetic counselors, such as a research assistant for projects in diagnostic exome sequencing and neurology panel testing as well as clinical research coordinator managing numerous studies assessing the clinical utility of genetic testing in the medical management of hereditary conditions. She gained exposure to the clinical aspects of genetic counseling as an intern in the ALS/Neuromuscular Clinic at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. In her free time, Kirsten loves to spend time near the ocean, create new recipes in the kitchen, and practice yoga.
Sabina Cook was born in California but grew up in southern New Jersey. She graduated from UC Berkeley in 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in Molecular Environmental Biology. As an undergraduate, Sabina conducted research using genetic tools to study meiotic mechanisms in yeast, and volunteered as a Patient Advocate in the Information Resource Collective at the Berkeley Free Clinic where she connected homeless and/or uninsured individuals with low-cost/free medical and social services within the community. The summer after graduation, she interned at UCSF Mount Zion with the High Risk Cancer Genetics team where she got first-hand experience of what genetic counselors do in clinical settings. Sabina then moved to NYC where she worked as a Research Associate at NYU Langone Health developing novel zebrafish mutants using CRISPR-Cas9 to study molecular mechanisms of cerebrovascular regeneration, and then moved onto a role in a biology core where she helped various researchers use robotics to scale up bench experiments. In her free time, Sabina loves playing video games with friends, taking walks, eating, and hanging out with her dog.
Malika Freund is from Saratoga, California and earned a bachelor's in Human Biology from Stanford in 2014, where she deepened her passion for sharing science through teaching and art and discovered a passion for peer counseling. After graduating, she taught high school science in the San Francisco Bay Area and has recently completed her doctorate in Human Genetics from UCLA. Malika decided to become a genetic counselor during her PhD through shadowing a genetic counselor and volunteer counseling for an after-abortion emotional support talkline. Malika enjoys graphic design and art projects, bonding with her dog, and baking and eating fresh bread.
Jacqueline (Jackie) Fung is from New York, NY and graduated from Boston College with a bachelor’s degree in Biology in 2014. While an undergraduate student, she worked in a lab that investigated metabolic therapies for chronic diseases including epilepsy and autism. She was also an active member in various cultural organizations on campus. After graduating, Jackie stayed in Boston and worked in various research positions at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Her wet-lab experience focused on cancer genetics, while her clinical research experience centered on neurodegenerative diseases. Through her involvement with BIDMC’s Huntington’s Disease Center of Excellence; Cognitive Neurology Unit; and Cancer Genetics and Prevention Program, she discovered the importance of genetic counseling. In her spare time, Jackie enjoys visiting loved ones in NYC and Boston. She is also very fond of baked goods and sweets.
Wesley (Wes) Ho is from Cherry Hill, NJ and graduated from Wesleyan University in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience and Behavior. As an undergraduate, he volunteered on a Hospice and Palliative Care unit, was the captain of the Wesleyan University Men’s Swim Team, and conducted research on bacterial speciation. Following graduation, Wesley was involved in research at the Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania studying the genetic and epigenetic basis of diabetes and metabolic disorders. Afterwards, he became a clinical research coordinator at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia within the Allergy and Immunology Division studying asthma development in children with a history of hospitalization due to bronchiolitis and the effects of Oral Immunotherapy. To gain exposure to the field of genetic counseling, he shadowed several genetic counselors within the Penn and CHOP medical community. In his free time, Wesley enjoys hiking with his dog, swimming, and playing soccer.
Claire Murphy is from Sacramento, California and graduated from the University of San Diego in 2018 with a bachelor's degree in Behavioral Neuroscience. As an undergraduate, she conducted research at UC San Diego, investigating the relationship between genetics and the immune system in the Drosophila model. After graduation, Claire worked as a Genetic Counseling Assistant at UCSF, where she regularly met with patients, worked directly with the clinic’s Medical Geneticist, and helped create and research an alternate service delivery model in the breast cancer patient population which shortened turnaround time in getting genetic test results to patients and providers. Additionally, she volunteered at the Friendship Line, the only accredited crisis line in the country for seniors and adults living with disabilities. In her free time, Claire enjoys listening to podcasts, spending time in Lake Tahoe, and honing her ping pong skills.
Callan Russell is from McDonough, Georgia and graduated from the University of Georgia in 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in Genetics and minor in Music. As an undergraduate, she conducted research using bioinformatics to study population dynamics and wrote her senior thesis on photomorphogenesis and heat tolerance in Arabidopsis thaliana DNA methylation mutants. Throughout her time at UGA, Callan co-founded the first genetics club at the university, G.E.N.E.S., volunteered with Extra Special People, a nonprofit serving children and young adults with developmental disabilities, and coordinated performance events as band captain of the Redcoat Marching Band. Additionally, she spent time at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine’s Genetic Counseling Program as their 2019 summer intern. In her free time, she enjoys playing the trombone, as well as board games and finding anything to laugh at from stand-up comedy to movies.
Sarah Sturm is originally from Burlington, North Carolina. She graduated from Virginia Tech in 2018 with bachelor's degrees in Biochemistry and Psychology, as well as a minor in Chemistry. As an undergraduate, Sarah served as a biochemistry peer mentor, undergraduate researcher, TA, and positive mental health advocate for the counseling center. She has also worked as a special needs caretaker, exam scribe, and has volunteered with Crisis Text Line and the Special Olympics. For the past two years, Sarah has worked as a Genetic Counseling Assistant with a fantastic team of GCs at Geisinger (and would not be here without them!) In addition, Sarah has a wide variety of genetic counseling experience in lab, clinic, and leadership settings across several states. In her free time, Sarah enjoys cooking, dancing, expanding her plant collection, traveling, and spending time with her family.
Leena Tran is from Santa Ana, California and graduated from the UCLA in 2019 with a bachelor's degree in Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics. As an undergraduate, she supported other students as a Resident Assistant, volunteered in the Child Life unit at the UCLA Medical Center, and served as a Learning Assistant for an introductory genetics course. As part of MESH (Medical Experience through Service in Healthcare) at UCLA, she also had the opportunity to support underserved communities through volunteering at Venice Family Clinic and organizing free health fairs in Los Angeles. To gain experience with genetic counseling, she shadowed genetic counselors in the Samuel Oschin Cancer Center at Cedars-Sinai. After graduating, Leena worked as a New Student Advisor for UCLA New Student Orientation and then as a volunteer at Karate for All, an occupational therapy-based martial arts program supporting children with disabilities. In her free time, she enjoys reading, baking, eating her favorite ice cream at Salt & Straw, and taking trips to the beach.
Ken Vittayarukskul is from El Monte, California, and he graduated from UC Irvine in 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in Genetics. During his undergraduate career, Ken studied how novel microRNAs were implicated in increased proliferative and invasive capabilities in non-small cell lung cancer. After leaving college, Ken worked at Zymo Research as part of the Assay and Platforms Development team where he participated in creating the company’s flagship next-gen sequencing technologies for RNA. This was coupled with shadowing the genetic counselors at the St. Joseph Hospital Cancer Genetics Program and serving as a crisis line volunteer at the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). In his downtime, Ken enjoys reading, photography, Muay Thai, tennis, and spending time with others.
Megan Yabumoto is from the Bay Area and received her bachelor's degree in Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology with a minor in Society and Genetics from UCLA in 2020. As an undergraduate, Megan conducted research on molecular mechanisms underlying rare diseases. She also volunteered with patients with varying degrees of dementia, peer counseled students with anxiety and depression, and worked with children at a confidential women's shelter in South Santa Clara County. To gain exposure to the field of genetic counseling, Megan was a volunteer at the Stanford Center for Inherited Cardiovascular Disease and a leader for UCLA's Genetic Counseling Student Interest Group. She enjoys volunteering in the Japanese-American community, playing basketball, reading books recommended to her by friends, and baking sweets in her free time.
Second Years (Class of 2021)
Nivedita (Nivi) Ahlawat s from San Jose, California and graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2019 with a bachelor's degree in Neuroscience and minor in Cognitive Science. As an undergraduate, she conducted research on neurodegenerative diseases and wrote her senior thesis on variant interpretation. She also peer counseled undergraduate students with anxiety and depression, utilizing cognitive behavioral therapy. As a director of the CPR and First Aid Program at UCLA, she expanded the organization's outreach by designing health, nutrition, and wellness workshops for underserved communities in the greater Los Angeles area. She gained valuable exposure to genetic counseling as a volunteer at the Stanford Center for Inherited Cardiovascular Disease and as a member of UCLA's Genetic Counseling Student Interest Group. In her free time, Nivi enjoys stand-up comedy, skiing at Lake Tahoe, wildlife photography, and Italian food.
Daniela Diaz Caro is from Trujillo, Peru and graduated from the University of Washington in 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology. As an undergraduate, she was a teaching assistant for Molecular Biology and Genetics courses and conducted cancer research at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. After graduation, Daniela worked as a Laboratory Genetic Counseling Assistant at Seattle Children’s Hospital assisting with the preauthorization of genetic tests. There she had the opportunity to shadow genetic counselors in the biochemical genetics, pediatric genetics, and craniofacial genetics specialty clinics. Daniela also volunteered as a crisis line phone worker for the Seattle King County area and taught science courses for Spanish speaking GED adult students. In her free time, Daniela enjoys painting, sand-boarding at the Oregon dunes, and playing with her pet bunny named Chichi.
Braeden Ego is from the San Francisco Bay Area and received her bachelor's degree in Molecular and Cell Biology from the University of California, Berkeley in 2016. As an undergraduate, she served as a student instructor for an introductory biology lab course, a mentor for MCB genetics students, and a research assistant at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory studying epigenetic effectors involved with aging. Following graduation, Braeden was involved with research at Genentech and Stanford University where she studied immunotherapeutics for macular degeneration and the applications of genome-wide CRISPR-Cas9 screening technologies. During this time, Braeden was also involved with volunteer work at the Down Syndrome Connection of the Bay Area, Crisis Text Line, and Rare Genomics Institute. To gain more hands-on exposure to genetic counseling, Braeden volunteered with genetic counselors at the Stanford Center for Inherited Cardiovascular Disease and the Stanford Undiagnosed Disease Network. During her spare time, Braeden enjoys trying out new boba shops and hotpot restaurants, listening to podcasts, watching forensics/crime shows, and going on hikes throughout the Bay Area.
Kathryn (Kate) Elliott is from San Carlos, California and graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2018 with a bachelor’s degree in Human Biology and Society. As an undergraduate, she conducted research in molecular biology and biological anthropology laboratories. In addition, Kate mentored and taught public health through the UCLA T.E.A.C.H. program, and served as the community relations director for the UCLA Pediatric AIDS Coalition. She gained exposure to the field of genetic counseling as a medical genetics-oncology intern at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and as a member of the UCLA Genetic Counseling Student Interest Group. After graduating, Kate continued to conduct research at UCLA as Staff Research Associate in a human genetics laboratory studying biological mechanisms underlying rare mendelian diseases. In addition to being a student, Kate is an avid Bay Area sports fan, an amateur watercolor-er, and a great British baking show enthusiast.
Gabriella (Gaby) Lee is from the Bay Area and received her bachelor’s degree in Genetics and Genomics with a minor in Human Development from UC Davis in 2015. After graduating, she moved to southern California to work at the City of Hope in a lab that studies pathways that lead to chromosomal rearrangements in cancer. While there, she was also a genetic counseling intern at Providence Hospital in a cancer clinic. She then moved back to the Bay Area and has been working at Color Genomics as part of the insurance team. She’s been a volunteer with Crisis Text Line, Exhale and Vitas Healthcare. She enjoys cooking, gardening and befriending neighborhood cats.
Hannah Llorin is from Baltimore, Maryland and graduated from Stanford University in 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in Human Biology with a self-designed concentration in Genetic Counseling. As an undergraduate, Hannah conducted research on the genetic factors of glial cell development and interned at a public health nonprofit while studying abroad in Cape Town, South Africa. She gained counseling experience by serving as a sexual health counselor, resident assistant, and peer health educator for undergraduate students. Most recently, Hannah volunteered with genetic counselors at the Stanford Center for Inherited Cardiovascular Disease and the Stanford Center for Undiagnosed Diseases. Her research project explores how tumor genomic testing can reveal hereditary cancer risk. As a member of the LGBTQ+ community, she is passionate about improving inclusivity in genetic counseling for gender and sexual minority people. In her spare time, she enjoys running, listening to podcasts, and being near the ocean.
Kathleen Murphy is originally from Cleveland, Ohio. She graduated from the University of Oxford with a degree in molecular and cellular biochemistry in 2011 where she did a Master’s thesis in the Department of Molecular Biophysics. Kathleen comes to genetic counseling from the biotechnology sector, where she was most recently part of the market research team at Illumina. Before joining Illumina, Kathleen was a Program Analyst with the Harrington Discovery Institute, a nonprofit focused on transitioning early-stage drug development research into the clinic. In her free time, Kathleen loves to play tennis and video chat with (and talk about) her adorable twin nieces.
Miles Picus is originally from Singapore, and his family now resides in Carmel, California. Miles graduated from UCLA in 2018 with a bachelor’s degree in Human Biology and Society. As an undergrad, he spent time in a cancer biology lab, and also did research at the UCLA center for social medicine, working on a project to evaluate and improve a branch of the mental health system in LA. Miles initially gained experience in genetic counseling through shadowing a cancer genetic counselor at Providence St. Joseph’s in LA. In the clinic, he also worked on various projects and was named co-author on a publication studying the demographics of access to genetic counseling. He then went on to work on two GC-related research projects, while shadowing the lead GC of those projects, at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Outside of GC-related interests, Miles worked as a behavioral therapist for children with Autism Spectrum disorder. Miles balances his academic and career interests through attending Stanford athletic events, surfing, and yoga.
Jennifer Siranosian is from Cape Cod, Massachusetts and graduated from Wesleyan University in 2017 with a bachelor's degree in biology and archaeology. As an undergraduate, Jennifer worked as a research assistant in an evolutionary genetics lab and excavated archaeological sites in Kenya and France inspiring a senior thesis on paleopathology. After graduation, she researched spinal muscular atrophy and other neuromuscular disorders as a lab technician at Massachusetts General Hospital. Jennifer gained genetic counseling experience by assisting in targeted SMA carrier screening throughout the US and through shadowing opportunities at MGH. She also volunteered as a one-on-one mentor and tutor for recently immigrated high school students in the Boston area. Now that she lives in sunny California, Jennifer enjoys spending extra time outdoors and learning about the West Coast’s bird species, as well as baking new recipes for friends and colleagues.
Caroline Stanclift is from Camden, Maine and graduated from Wheaton College (MA) in 2016 with a bachelor's degree in Biochemistry. As an undergraduate, she joined a lab focused on zebrafish genetics. Upon graduation, she was a Science Teaching Fellow at Culver Academies in Indiana. Following her fellowship, she worked as a Research Associate at The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, studying how disease alters protein interaction networks. During her time in Boston, she also interned with the genetic counseling team in Cancer Genetics and Prevention at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, volunteered with the national suicide prevention hotline, and became involved with advocacy for the ALS Association. In her free time, you’ll likely find her outside in some sunshine hiking or skiing.
Monty Worthington is from Anchorage Alaska and received his bachelor’s degree in physics from Tulane University. Pivoting from a career in the renewable energy field — that focused on providing energy solutions to remote, underserved populations — in 2018 he founded The Suz Fund, a nonprofit that works to provide support to cancer patients and survivors in Alaska, with an emphasis on providing assistance to individuals diagnosed with early onset cancers. He gained experience in the genetic counseling field and inspiration to pursue this vocation shadowing genetic counselors at the Providence Cancer Center and Providence Children’s Hospital in Anchorage. Growing up in Alaska instilled a deep appreciation for the outdoors early on, and he continues to enjoy spending his free time exploring outside whether it be on foot, on skis, in a packraft, or under a paraglider.