Genomics and Society Mentorship Program (GSMP)

Enhancing diversity among future ethical, legal and social implications researchers

Open to undergraduate students interested in the ethics of science, clinical care and/or public health, the Johns Hopkins Genomics and Society Mentorship Program is a 15-month hybrid in-person/remote program that begins with a 10-week Summer Internship Program (SIP). The SIP provides summer research experience to underrepresented minorities, students from economically disadvantaged and underserved backgrounds, and students with disabilities. Through the Mentorship Program, these students will gain experience doing research centered on the ethical, legal and social implications (ELSI) of genomics.

Summer Internship Dates: May 31 – August 5, 2022
(Application opens November 1, 2021)

Meet our trainees | Where are they now?

Program Features

  • Mentored research
  • Weekly journal club
  • Bimonthly seminars
  • Professional development sessions
  • Foundational courses
  • $3,000 stipend

Faculty from the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics will mentor trainees on bioethics broadly, and in the context of their specific projects, enabling students to identify and analyze morally relevant issues in science, medicine, and public health. Students will continue their connection to the Program throughout the academic year (for a total of 15 months), co-lead the planning of an activity (e.g., seminar, outreach event) related to their interests in Genomics and Society at their home institution, and return to Hopkins for several days the following summer for additional training, mentorship, and connection with the next cohort of trainees.

A photo of the GSMP 2021 cohort
Program Details

Interns will learn skills, be exposed to the range of possible training and career options in ELSI research, and with the guidance of a faculty mentor, and conduct research on issues in genomics and society.

Trainees will attend a workshop/seminar designed specifically for them and their cohort. In addition, trainees are enrolled in foundational courses in the Berman Institute’s existing Summer Institute. Contact Penny White (pwhite17@jhu.edu), by March 31, 2022, if you are interested in the possibility of receiving academic credit for this coursework.

These are in addition to those activities available to all SIP students, such as bimonthly seminars and professional development sessions. By the end of summer, students will be expected to be able to identify morally relevant issues in science, medicine, research and public health, and to engage in sound reasoning about those issues.  Participants will develop these core skills through exposure to foundational bioethics methodologies, the application of those skills and methodologies to important historical and contemporary cases, and to participants’ own projects and interests.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicants must be full-time college students, who have completed at least one full year of collegiate study. Recent college graduates are not eligible to apply.

Apply to the Genomics & Society Mentorship Program

Apply online by 11:59 p.m. on February 1, 2022 (application opens Nov. 1, 2021).

Once you’ve created and confirmed your user account, applicants should select Bloomberg School of Public Health when prompted to choose a school. You will then be directed to a dropdown to choose a program — the Genomics & Society Mentorship Program is one of the options. Please feel free to reach out to Penny White, Program Coordinator at pwhite17@jhu.edu, with questions about the program and application process.

2022 Trainees

Poushali Banerjee

Poushali Banerjee is a rising senior at University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) majoring in Public Health on the Population Health Track with a Music minor. Poushali aspires to pursue public health research, with a focus on health equity. Poushali is a member of the UMBC Sondheim Public Affairs Scholars Program, a program in which students address societal problems through public service, public policy, leadership, and research, and is the treasurer of Maryland Student Legislature, a club dedicated to teaching students about how to write and debate public policy initiatives, while simulating the Maryland General Assembly. Poushali hopes to pursue graduate school for Public Health so they can continue to learn about how legislators and public health researchers work together to expand healthcare for vulnerable populations in Baltimore.

Assata Harris

Assata Harris is a sophomore at Howard University, where she studies chemical engineering. Assata was born in Washington, DC, and was raised in North Carolina. Assata has a research interest in environmental health and epigenetics. She has specific interests in agricultural biodiversity, the treatment of addiction, and the long-term effects of skin bleaching. Assata hopes to combine her knowledge in engineering with her interests in environmental science and public health in graduate school. Outside of academics, Assata loves to read mystery novels, knit, work in the community, and go on nature walks.

Briana Lopez-Patino

Briana Lopez-Patino is a rising junior at Binghamton University majoring in Philosophy. She is from Rochester, NY, and aspires to become a philosophy professor with a research focus in bioethics and a service focus on clinical ethics consultation. Briana is the Managing Editor and Vice-President of Happy Medium Magazine (a political science magazine at Binghamton), Vice-President of the Interdisciplinary Research Club, Program Assistant for the Emerging Leaders Program, a Research Assistant in the Human Sexualities Lab, Varsity Member of the Binghamton Parliamentary Debate Society, and a McNair Scholar. In bioethics, she is interested in researching genomics, medical malpractice/negligence, clinical ethics, and racism/structural injustice. In genomics specifically, she is interested in health disparities and human genome editing. In her free time, she enjoys skateboarding, reading, and listening to/playing music.

Noelani Phillips

Noelani Phillips is a rising senior at Boston University (BU), with a major in Health Science on the pre-med track. Noelani is from Silver Spring, Maryland, and hopes to become an orthopedic surgeon or pursue sports medicine. Noelani is a D1 collegiate athlete on the Track and Field team at BU, running the 200 and 400m dashes. Noelani also loves the arts, plays the cello, guitar, piano, and double bass, and likes to write poetry and paint.

Anjali Yedavalli

Anjali Yedavalli is a rising sophomore at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign studying Integrative Biology and minoring in Public Health. Anjali hopes to pursue a Master of Public Health and enter the public health and/or bioethics field. She is particularly passionate about health disparities among marginalized groups as well as inequities regarding global health and infectious diseases, especially pandemics. Anjali hopes to bridge the gap between the biology behind various public health crises and the tactics/policies put into place to combat them. Overall, she aims to promote a deeper understanding of the specific needs and concerns of underrepresented minority groups.

2021 Trainees

Jeanette Hoang

Jeanette Hoang is a rising junior from the University of Oklahoma (OU) majoring in Public Health. She is pursuing a career in medicine, with a particular interest in adolescent medicine. Jeanette is the current president of American Mock World Health Organization at OU, where she is able to share her passion for global public health education with her community. Specifically, Jeanette values inclusive, evidence-based, and trauma-informed healthcare and is consequently greatly interested in informed consent during genomic research and in healthcare in general.

Ngozi Ikejiofor

Ngozi Ikejiofor is a rising sophomore at Howard University majoring in Biology with a Chemistry minor. She is from Baltimore, Maryland, and aspires to become a pediatric doctor and international child health activist. In her free time, she enjoys photography, reading, film, journaling, and listening to music. Ngozi is a mentor for the MYTH (Mentoring Youth & Teens’ Health) program, where mentorship and guidance are provided to students in the DC area. Ngozi is most interested in the health disparities and healthcare inequities aspect of genomics. Specifically, how health disparities and inequities unfairly impact children in underprivileged and minority communities globally. She is also interested in combatting the ethnic and implicit bias in medicine that impacts vulnerable populations.

Viveka Jain

Viveka Jain is a rising sophomore at New York University who is originally from Long Island, New York. As a pre-medical student, she is especially motivated to learn more about how healthcare access can be improved in marginalized communities and how implicit biases in physicians can be minimized. Her passion for studying biomedical science in its sociocultural context furthers her interest in ELSI research, and is also why she has chosen to major in Global Public Health/Biology as an undergraduate.

Nathaniel Mamo

Nathaniel Mamo is a rising senior majoring Philosophy at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). He plans to pursue philosophy at its highest levels. His plans following graduation include applying to PhD programs. His interests in genomics focus on privacy and property rights.

Imani McGregor

Imani McGregor is a rising senior at Brown University from Fort Collins, Colorado. She aspires to become a physician and will matriculate into the Warren Alpert Medical School at Brown University after graduation through the eight-year Program in Liberal Medical Education. In her free time, she enjoys painting and serving the first-year community as a women’s peer counselor at Brown. As a public health major, she is passionate about health disparities and equity. She is particularly interested in musculoskeletal health disparities among low-income populations, and hopes to increase access to preventive care services in the future. Within the field of bioethics, she is interested in the societal implications of genomics-based research as it pertains to race and ethnicity.

2020 Trainees

Lia Davis

Lia Davis is a fourth year Philosophy major at the University of Maryland Baltimore County. Her interests include exploring the future of genomics in research for terminal diseases and how this research can be conducted ethically.

Haleena Phillips

Haleena Phillips is a rising senior at Davidson College. A Biology major, Haleena plans to apply to graduate school this year in order to further her knowledge in Health Policy and Bioethics with aspirations of becoming a Clinical and/or Research Ethicist. Within the field of bioethics, she is interested in the ethical implications of informed consent, and how information can be skewed or misunderstood by patients.

 

Emma Taylor

Emma Taylor, a rising senior at the University of Maryland Baltimore County, is a Health Administration & Policy major. Emma plans to obtain a joint JD/MPH, with a focus in health law and medical malpractice. She is interested in protecting patients who participate in human trials or have been exposed to experimental medicine/treatment.

2019 Trainees

Fowota Mortoo

Fowota Mortoo is a rising sophomore at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is currently on the pre-med track and will apply to UNC’s Gilling’s School of Public Health next year to major in Health Policy and Management. Within the field of bioethics, she has two main interests, the first of which is how ethics informs policy—specifically how to make the process of genomics research (quantitative and qualitative) equitable in order to inform health and economic policies that counteract existing disparities; for example, how can researchers be more cognizant of social aspects of genomics research (e.g., financial considerations of study participants) and incorporate these considerations into their study models, and how the community based participatory research model can be realized in genomics research. Second, she is interested in ethical issues arising in clinical settings in regards to the quality of care, access to services, and provider decision-making.

Lauryn Mosby

Lauryn Mosby is a sophomore at Howard University where she is a Biology major with a Chemistry minor. Lauryn is from St. Louis, Missouri. She currently serves as the Dean of Enrichment for an organization called Women of Revolt at Howard, and is the founder of Ask Jarrett, which is a mentoring program that aims to assist high school seniors during the transition to college or to the armed forces. Ask Jarrett also pairs undergraduate student mentors to professional mentors to expose them to different career paths. Along with being passionate about mentoring and community service, Lauryn is also passionate about eliminating implicit biases amongst physicians. She plans to pursue a career in pediatric anesthesiology or obstetrics after obtaining her BS from Howard and a Master’s in Biomedical Ethics.

Jasmine Powell

Jasmine Powell is a rising sophomore at Brown University who is originally from the Greater Philadelphia area. She has aspirations of becoming a physician one day and is specifically passionate about health equity and healthcare access. Her interest in these very important topics drove her to major in public health as an undergraduate student at Brown. Jasmine is fascinated with the entire field of ethical, legal, and societal implications of research because of the way that it contextualizes biomedical science. As someone interested in population health and medicine, she finds the questions that this field strives to answer to be essential. Specifically, Jasmine is interested in the ethics and societal impact of vaccination, prenatal care and regulation of the opioid epidemic in the context of genomics.

Bakari Sibert

Bakari Sibert is a junior at Howard University, with a double major in bioethics and political science. He serves as the Director of Health and Wellness for the Howard University Student Association. In his free time, he enjoys collecting and creating art as well as DJ’ing. He is particularly interested in the implications of genomics policy and its potential to unfairly disadvantage minorities and low-income populations. It is important to him that when policy is being written and reviewed that all communities are taken into careful consideration.

Nina Wallace

Nina Wallace is a rising junior at Howard University with a biology and community health double major and an Arabic minor. Nina is originally from Philadelphia. Ultimately, she hopes to conduct research on therapies for developmental disabilities as well as domestic/global health disparities and the associated ethical issues. She plans to pursue a combined degree program with public health and medicine. She wants to both understand the biological basis of these disorders and address the historical and contemporary health care inequities that can result in worse outcomes for underprivileged communities. She wants the greater research community to not only understand how disparities contribute to differences in care and outcomes for perinatal and pediatric patients, but to reduce disparities and improve overall health in these vulnerable populations.

Where are they now?

2019 Cohort

Fowota Mortoo will be graduating from UNC Chapel Hill in May 2022, with a major in Global Studies and minors in Geography and Chemistry. She plans to pursue public health following graduation and is weighing the options of taking a gap year or going straight to graduate school in public health.

Lauryn Mosby just wrapped up a year working as a molecular technologist in a COVID-19 and general infectious disease laboratory. She is currently working as a research technician in an Immunobiology laboratory as she applies to medical school. Lauryn continues to grow a bath and body care business, La. Meaux Naturals, helping to make self-care simple for the busy woman.

Bakari Sibert recently returned from Seoul, South Korea, as a Henry Luce Scholar, where he conducted research on sustainable garment production and the relationship between contemporary and traditional textile based South Korean crafts. He is currently looking for work opportunities as a sustainability research analyst.

2020 Cohort

Lia Davis currently attends Northwestern University, where she is working toward an MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. She plans to be licensed as a mental health counselor in the state of Maryland and to work with clients in addiction recovery. Following licensure, Lia hopes to pursue a PhD in Counselor Education.

Haleena Phillips’s career interest in bioethics and genomics/genetics were greatly impacted by the GSMP. Through the program, she became aware of her current job at the National Institutes of Health as a Scientific Program Analyst, where she supports the Centers for Excellence in ELSI Research, among other NHGRI initiatives. Next year, Haleena will begin graduate school at Carnegie Mellon University, where she will be pursuing a Master’s in the Health Care Policy and Management program.

Emma Taylor graduated from UMBC in December 2020 with a BA in Public Health and Legal Policy. She has since been taking time to get more acclimated with life outside of college. Emma has started a new job as a medical representative focusing on geriatric insurance for Performance Dynamics, a strategic insourcing company, while applying to JD/MPH programs for Fall 2022.

Affiliated Project

BRIDGES Phase I
Considering ethical implications of personalized approaches to treating infectious diseases made possible by genomic technological advances

Program Director

Debra Mathews, PhD, MA
Assistant Director for Science Programs; Associate Professor

Academic Program Administrator

Penny White
Academic Program Administrator

Program Mentors

Jeffrey Kahn, PhD, MPH
Andreas C. Dracopoulos Director; Robert Henry Levi and Ryda Hecht Levi Professor of Bioethics and Public Policy
Gail Geller, ScD, MHS
Director of Education Initiatives; Core Faculty; Professor
Travis N. Rieder, PhD
Director of the MBE Program; Assistant Director for Education Initiatives; Associate Research Professor