Mentor: Penny Beuning & Deborah Watkins (University of Michigan School of Public Health, CRECE)
My name is Jeanine Nasser, and I am a rising third-year studying health sciences and biology in the Honors Program from Brookline, Massachusetts. I have always been interested in further exploring the intersection between public health and the biological sciences in order to better understand the negative health outcomes that continue to disproportionately impact marginalized populations. Over the course of my ROUTES co-op I will be undertaking two main research projects. My first project, which is with the DNA Damage Recognition and Tolerance Laboratory here at Northeastern, focuses on investigating the underlying mechanisms in which DNA polymerase DinB contributes to the development of antibiotic resistance in E. coli. My second project, which is in collaboration with Dr. Deborah Watkins at the University Michigan School of Public Health and CRECE, seeks to elucidate the underlying relationships between exposure to certain environmental contaminants and chemicals (e.g. phthalates and phenols) during gestation and early neurodevelopment during the first two years of life. After completing my undergraduate studies, I hope to pursue a doctoral program in epidemiology that will equip me with the quantitative analysis methods necessary to pursue my own research that also applies quantitative methods to further analyze major health exposures and diseases that are exacerbated among marginalized populations.
Mentor: Dr. Loretta Fernandez
My name is Kelsey Walak, and I am a third year chemical engineering major with a minor in mathematics from Natick, MA. I am excited to be a part of the ROUTES program to learn and gain experience in research focused on the environment. For my first co-op the research I will be working on involves passive sampling of air and water to identify contaminates such as PAHs, PCBs, and endocrines. These contaminates can be harmful to organisms living in these ecosystems and negatively affect human health. I believe it is very important to protect our environment for the future and using passive samplers is a way to monitor human impacts. I do not know exactly what I want to do after graduating with an undergraduate degree but I know the experience and mentorship from the ROUTES program will help guide me in decisions regarding future education and work fields.
Mentor: Dr. Phil Brown
My name is Olivia Chagnon and I am a third year Biology student with a minor in Environmental Studies from New Hampshire. I decided to join the ROUTES program because I found it to be the perfect opportunity to pursue research that combines my interests in both environmental and public health. For this co-op, I’ll be working on the PFAS Project with Dr. Phil Brown, investigating per- and polyfluoroalkyl substance contamination and activism in various communities. It takes a more sociological approach to environmental issues, allowing me to explore a discipline outside of my traditional science background.
On campus, I co-lead a climate change education program for local elementary and middle school students and assist in running the Northeastern Farmer’s Market. After graduation, I hope to attend medical school and continue to conduct research related to environmental medicine.
Mentor: Dr. Matthew Eckelman
My name is Sarah Gibbs and I am a third year Environmental Science student from Troy, NY. I am excited to be working in the ROUTES program for my first co-op and am looking forward to learning more about the interactions between human health and environmental issues. During my time in Dr. Matthew Eckelman’s lab, I will be collecting PM emissions data from Commuter Rail trains in Boston’s transportation corridor to study the pollutant exposures riders experience on a daily basis. Additionally, I will be installing and monitoring several consumer-grade PM monitors around Northeastern’s campus to learn how students and faculty are affected by emissions. On campus, I am a member of NUStage musical theater club and an intramural referee. After graduating from Northeastern, I plan to pursue a PhD exploring social-ecological systems.