Student Participants 2022-2023

Ruth Schade

PhD student, Microbiology & Immunology

Denise Monack Lab

Research interest: Macrophages as a niche for Salmonella Typhi


Miriam Sun

PhD student, Developmental Biology

Lucy O'Brien Lab

Research interest: Intestinal stem cell dynamics in Drosophila


Julie Sanchez


PhD student, Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine

Casey Gifford

Research interest: Cardiovascular development and disease using stem cell models

Yannick Leeyow

PhD student, Genetics

Jesse Engreitz Lab and Howard Chang Lab

Research interest: Using CRISPR technologies to investigate noncoding RNAs


Sophia Parks

Postdoctoral fellow, Pediatrics

Manuel Amieva Lab

Research interest: How H. pylori can colonize and persist in the gastric gland


Alyssa Lyn Fortier


PhD student, Biology

Jonathan Pritchard Lab
Research interest: The genetics and evolution of immunity in humans

Testimonial: Stanford at the Tech was a unique and enriching experience, and it taught me so much! We scientists often find ourselves in a bubble, speaking and writing in jargon and focusing only on extremely specific problems. It's grounding and rewarding to reconnect with normal people and learn what kinds of questions are on their radar. Is that how forensic investigation really works? Why did I get this result on my 23andMe? Are you a scientist? Is that real DNA? Are mummies real??

My PhD program has taught me a lot about how to communicate *with scientists*, but that doesn't translate at all to speaking with the public. The evidence-based teaching methods we read about and the detailed 1:1 feedback from Abbey really honed my communication skills and filled in that major gap. Plus, the Tech is established and the program was so organized that I felt like I had space to practice the content instead of worrying about organizational details. I was even intimidated at first because I have zero wet lab experience and I knew I was going to have to mix substances (?!) and fake my knowledge about pipettes (!!?!). But actually, I learned a lot and it wasn't so scary! I'm really grateful for my time at the Tech. Try it, you'll have a blast!


Erin Brooks

Lab Manager, Ami Bhatt Lab

Research interest: The role of the gut microbiome in disease

Testimonial: This program challenged me, but in all the best ways! I really enjoyed facilitating genetics activities for visitors at The Tech. After two years of virtual interactions, getting to engage with people face-to-face was a welcome opportunity to meet people from all sorts of backgrounds, of truly all ages. I relished all the shared moments of wonder that are most organic, and memorable in person. I had never led activities on my own before, so it took me some time to work out how to balance providing enough information with leaving space for visitors to explore for themselves. I found the resources and readings really helpful for this! But the in-person labs aren’t all that the program has to offer! Writing blog posts for the ‘Ask-a-Geneticist’ column was a fun opportunity to dive deep into some interesting or quirky genetics questions. (I got to write an article about turning slugs into snails!) But it also really challenged me to make my writing style more accessible to a wider range of audiences. I highly recommend this program!

Abby Bergman

PhD student, Genetics

Julie Baker Lab

Research interest: Functional retroelements during placentation

Testimonial: Participating in Stanford@The Tech has been an unforgettable part of my graduate career. It’s so meaningful to be able to inspire the next generation of scientists! I’ve loved meeting, guiding, and learning from the diversity of people that have participated in our hands on activities, from toddlers to grandparents. Participating in this program is a unique experience to improve your communication skills, be involved in unconventional science education, and be reminded of your power to be a role model for all scientists. I looked forward to each and every week I got to lead activities at The Tech, and would recommend this experience to everyone.


Bhek Morton

PhD student, Genetics

Mike Bassik Lab

Research interest: Macrophage and tumor cell interactions

Testimonial: I loved my time with Stanford at the Tech! I was drawn to the program because it offered me the opportunity to practice science communication and outreach. I really enjoyed leading a broad audience through several (pandemic-safe) activities. Many of the guests were genuinely curious about DNA and genetics, and left excited having learned something new. I’ve gained a new appreciation for the importance of making science exciting and approachable to students of all backgrounds.