International Women’s Day 2022: Spotlighting Innovative OTC Fellows

OTC Fellows are working every day to change the world through innovations. Not only do they work on their PhD theses to explore new scientific frontiers, they also move novel technologies from the bench out to the world through the OTC Fellows Program at Duke’s Office for Translation & Commercialization.

Join us in celebrating the impact that they make!

Anandita Ananthakumar

Anandita Ananthakumar is a graduate student in the Department of Biomedical Engineering. Anandita studies skeletal muscle fibrosis by developing an in vitro model using a 3D microphysiological system and an integrated tissue-engineered blood vessel and skeletal muscle system to observe the role of inflammation in the lab of George Truskey.

Angela Rivera

Angela Rivera is a graduate student in the Department of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology. Angela studies novel antifungal therapeutics to treat infections caused by the pathogen Cryptococcus neoformans in the lab of Dr. Joseph Heitman.

Anna Kudla

Anna Kudla is a graduate student in the Department of Biology. Anna researches the evolutionary patterns and developmental mechanisms behind insect morphological diversity, focusing on the novel pronotal structure of treehoppers in the lab of Dr. Fred Nijhout.


Arielle Homayouni

Arielle Homayouni is a graduate student in the Department of Biology. Arielle researches the role of the auxin precursor, indole-3-butyric acid (IBA), metabolism and transport in plant development in the lab of Dr. Lucia Strader.

Katie McAuliffe

Katie McAuliffe is a graduate student in the Department of Chemistry. Katie studies the role of metals during antifungal drug treatment in the pathogen Candida albicans in the lab of Dr. Kathy Franz.

Lily Yang

Lily Yang is a graduate student in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science. Lily studies DNA-based nanomaterials for biomedical applications in the lab of Dr. Stefan Zauscher.


Susan Liu

Susan Liu is a graduate student in the Computational Biology and Bioinformatics program. Susan studies computational methods to study gene therapy strategies and epigenomic regulation in the lab of Dr. Charles Gersbach.

Zoe Loh

Zoe Loh is a graduate student in the Computational Biology and Bioinformatics program. Susan studies computational methods to study gene therapy strategies and epigenomic regulation in the lab of Dr. Charles Gersbach.

Melissa Harnois

Melissa Harnois is a graduate student in the Department of Immunology. Melissa researches the humoral immune response to cytomegalovirus reactivation in the context of solid organ transplant under the co-mentorship of Dr. Annette Jackson and Dr. Sallie Permar.


Lyla Stanland

Lyla Stanland is a graduate student in the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology. Lyla studies Epstein-Barr virus-associated gastric cancer in the lab of Dr. Micah Luftig.

Kahirunnisa Mentari Semesta

Kahirunnisa Mentari Semesta is a graduate student in the Department of Pharmacology & Cancer Biology. Khairunnisa studies the intersection between G-protein coupled receptor therapeutics and neuropsychiatry in the lab of Dr. Nina Tsvetanova.

Ellery Jones

Ellery Jones is a graduate student in the Department of Biomedical Engineering. Ellery studies the pathological features and progression of cardiovascular diseases using tissue-engineered blood vessels in the lab of Dr. George Truskey.