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GSBS Incoming Graduate studentsCongratulations to Sonia Patel, the first place winner of the Spring 2020 Excellence in Communication essay contest! This year’s contest asked participants to “Identify a female innovator and describe how her contribution to STEM inclusion impacts your goals and career.” Sonia wrote about Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson, President of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Sonia is a 2nd-year PhD student at UT MD Anderson working Dr. John Heymach’s lab. Her research primarily focuses on asking the question: what drives immunotherapy resistance in EGFR-mutant non-small cell lung cancer? She was born and raised in San Jose, California and received her undergraduate degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, cooking, running, and community service.

RakheeBajajCongratulations to Rakhee Bajaj, the second place winner of the Spring 2020 Excellence in Communication essay contest! This year’s contest asked participants to “Identify a female innovator and describe how her contribution to STEM inclusion impacts your goals and career.” Rakhee wrote about Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, who is called “India’s Biotech Queen” and “India’s Mother of Invention”.

Rakhee Bajaj is a Ph.D. candidate at UT MD Anderson Cancer Center where she currently works on lung cancer metastasis and its underlying molecular mechanisms. A keen learner, Rakhee is now on course to fulfilling her dream of becoming a first-generation scientist.

Prior to pursuing her Ph.D., Rakhee completed her Bachelor’s with a double major in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Michigan State University, followed by a Master’s from The University of Michigan Ann Arbor in Human Genetics. Apart from her academic endeavors she was also involved with the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Club at MSU and the Genome Instability Group at U of M.

Shreya JainCongratulations to Shreya Jain, the third place winner of the Spring 2020 Excellence in Communication essay contest! This year’s contest asked participants to “Identify a female innovator and describe how her contribution to STEM inclusion impacts your goals and career.” Shreya wrote about Mollie Orshansky, an American economist and statistician.

Shreya Jain is a first-year undergraduate student at Rice University, where she studies Cognitive Sciences and Neuroscience. Her greatest ambition is to help eliminate healthcare inequality, which is why she hopes to pursue both medicine and global health as a physician. Some of her extracurricular activities include tutoring at local Houston high schools and performing neuroscientific research in the Texas Medical Center. She is also on the executive board of the American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA) branch at Rice.