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Current John P. McNulty Scholars and Mentors

Scholars Mentors
Rena Abramova Dr. Robert Thompson
Alla Akselrod Dr. David Foster
Katarzyna Golec Dr. Robert Thompson
Ruth Hauptman Dr. Lei Xie
Carol Hosny Dr. David Foster
Nicola Kriefall Dr. Chris Braun
Rubana Rahman Dr. Cheryl Harding
Shajoti Rahman Dr. Shirley Raps
Jane Selegean Dr. Victoria Luine
Chhime Sherpa Dr. Mandë Holford
Esraa Soliman Dr. Frida Kleiman

See Past Scholars


Rena Abramova

Faculty Mentor: Professor Robert Thompson, Mathematics


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Alla Akselrod

Faculty Mentor: Professor David Foster, Biological Sciences

Alla is studying to complete her major in Biology. She wants to attend medical school and become a physician.  Originally from Moscow, Alla came to the United States at the age of nine.  Having specialized in Medical Science in high school, Alla has been determined to become a doctor from a very young age.  With the help of the McNulty Scholars Program, Alla was given the opportunity to work in Dr. David Foster’s Cancer Biology Laboratory and study the various pathways leading to cellular proliferation and their potential as therapeutic targets. 

In addition to her Biology major, Alla is also pursuing a minor in Human Rights.  She is particularly interested in the human right of equal access to medicine, and disparities in levels of healthcare globally.  Alla has been involved in various volunteer projects, including travelling to New Orleans to help rebuild houses of victims of Hurricane Katrina, becoming involved in FACE-AIDS (an organization which strives to bring awareness of and raise funds to combat the AIDS/HIV epidemic, particularly in third world countries), and volunteering weekly at the pediatric oncology unit of Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital.

As a McNulty Scholar, Alla has been inspired to further develop her leadership skills and combine her passions for science, humanitarianism, and medicine in order to achieve her dream of becoming a doctor.


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Kartarzyna Golec

Faculty Mentor: Professor Robert Thompson, Mathematics and Statistics

Katarzyna, from Krasnystaw, Poland, is a third year Mathematics student with a concentration in Quantitative Biology. During her junior year she participated in a CMASC (Computational Modeling and Analysis for Complex Systems) workshop at Lehman College. The workshop involved in-depth analysis of computer programming that modeled the spiral waves of a heart during Atrial fibrillation. Under the watchful eye of creator of the program Professor Nancy Griffeth and guest speaker Professor Flavio Fenton from Georgia Tech, Katarzyna was able to understand and analyze heart cells and the processes that occur during the Atrial fibrillation. This project allowed her to combine the knowledge of differential equations and biology in order to model the processes of the heart.

Thanks to the John P. McNulty Scholarship, Katarzyna was given the opportunity to explore the concepts of Probability Theory with the help of her mentor Professor Robert Thompson. She was able to understand the basics as well as the logic that underlines the theory. Since Katarzyna prefers the applied branch of mathematics instead of the theoretical one, she believes that the research in Probability Theory will help her to continue her career in the Quantitative Biology field.

In the near future, Katarzyna plans to attend medical school to become a doctor. Since her freshman year at Hunter College, she has been taking pre-medical classes and plans to take MCAT’s while continuing her research in mathematics.


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Ruth Hauptman

Faculty Mentor: Professor Xie Lie, Computer Sciences

Ruth Hauptman is a senior at Hunter College, majoring in Computer Science while simultaneously working on premedical requirements.  She is part of the John P. McNulty Scholars program and is grateful for the wonderful opportunity given to her.  Ruth is current working in the Computational Systems Biology, Biomolecular Modeling and Bioinformatics Laboratory with Professor Lei Xie.  In Dr. Xie's lab, Ruth works on network-inference of drug-target networks, which may facilitate drug repurposing, side effect prediction, and polypharmacology drug design.  Ruth aspires to be a medical doctor and hopes to continue doing research, combining her programming skills and strong backgruond in computer science with the medical sciences.


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Carol Hosny

Faculty Mentor: Professor David Foster, Biological Sciences

Carol is majoring in Biological Sciences at Hunter College. She is very glad to be a part of the John P. McNulty Scholars Program which regularly exposes her to new and challenging leadership situations that prepare her for the coming future. Carol is seeking to pursue a career in medicine. She is working in Dr. Foster's Cancer Biology laboratory where she has been introduced to modern techniques and equipment and learned new concepts about cancer that will be helpful to her career.  She loves to study about the human body and everything related to it. To further her interest and goals in the medical field, she was accepted to The Health Career Opportunity Program at NYU Langone Medical Center where she shadowed a physician and learned more about the doctor-patient relationship. She currently volunteers in the Emergency Department at Staten Island University Hospital and at a local pediatrician’s clinic.

While she pursues her medical career, Carol is also an active member of a church youth group on Staten Island where she teaches various Bible concepts to young children and actively participates in various church events for youth such as volunteering, competitions, meetings and trips. For three years now, Carol has been a Mathematics and Sciences tutor at the College of Staten Island-CUNY. As a tutor, she has built on her level of self-confidence and receives great satisfaction from helping students. She has aided many anxious students in time management and learned how to reassure them of their own abilities. Overall, through her experiences volunteering at a pediatrician’s clinic, teaching at a church youth group, and tutoring students, Carol has found that she enjoys interacting with young people and children.


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Nicola Kriefall

Faculty Mentor: Professor Chris Braun, Psychology

Nicola is a junior and Biology major with a concentration in Neurobiology.  She is currently a Yalow Scholar, a scholarship granted to students dedicated to careers in the physical sciences or medicine.  She is excited to be a McNulty Scholar and a part of such a fascinating and devoted team.

Nicola has been captivated by the ocean for as long as she can remember.  Her passion has led her to work in two laboratories that utilize aquatic animals.  At Hunter College, she studies the behavior and physiology of weakly electric fish with Dr. Chris Braun of the Psychology Department.  Over the summer, she works with Dr. Gerardo Morfini at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, MA, using squid neurons to analyze the molecular mechanisms of neurodegenerative diseases.

In the future, she will pursue a PhD in Marine Biology at a graduate school on the coast.  Then she will spend the rest of her life conducting conservation research for the benefit of the ocean's ecosystems.  In her free time, she enjoys drawing and adventures.


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Rubana Rahman

Faculty Mentor: Professor Cheryl Harding, Psychology

Rubana is currently a senior at Hunter College, majoring in Psychology.  She is a Jenny Hunter scholar and a research assistant in Dr. Cheryl Harding's lab.  Along with members of her lab, Rubana is doing research on how exposure to mold affects the cognitive functions of mice.  She hopes that this information will be used to help the vast numbers of people who are exposed to mold in their homes due to various reasons, including weather disasters.

Rubana has always been keen on having a career that has a personal hands-on approach and that is why she is pursuing her goal of attending optometry school.  She is also interested in the area of public health.  At Hunter college, Rubana is part of the leadership council in Peer Health Exchange.  She teaches health workshops to ninth graders across the city who do not have health classes in their curriculum.  She also trains the new volunteers who wish to teach.  It is an enjoyable and fulfilling experience.  Along with the sciences, Rubana likes to read and write in her free time.  She is the administrative editor of The Olivetree Review, Hunter's literary and art magazine.  She loves working with people through the creative process and watching talented work shine.  Rubana is extremely grateful for all the opportunities that the John P. McNulty Foundation has opened up for her and is inspired by the wonderful amount of support she has received.


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Shajoti Rahman

Faculty Mentor: Professor Shirley Raps, Biological Sciences

Shajoti Rahman is currently a junior at Hunter College.  She is working under the supervision of Dr. Shirley Raps while conducting research with Dr. Katharine Hsu at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. She studies the interactions of the allotypes of the Natural Killer (NK) cell receptor KIR3DL1 and allotypes of its ligand, HLA-Bw4.  Her lab has recently found that specific combinations of these interactions contribute to strong inhibition, weak inhibition, or no inhibition at all of Natural Killer cells.  By conducting PCR of hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) donors, Shajoti aims to confirm the lab’s findings regarding the KIR3DL1 and HLA-Bw4 combinations.  These data will aid in HCT donor and recipient matching for more successful immune control of Acute Myeloid Leukemia.

Shajoti hopes to become a physician in the future after graduating with her major in Behavioral neurobiology.  She will specialize in a medical field related to pediatrics.  Shajoti will become the first person in her family to graduate from college.  By becoming a McNulty scholar, she has learned the value of leadership, commitment, and teamwork through the support of her McNulty peers and mentor. 


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Jane Selegean

Faculty Mentor: Professor Victoria Luine, Psychology

Jane Selegean is a graduating senior with majors in Behavioral Neuroscience, Public Policy and Special Honors with minors in Chemistry and English. During her first year as a McNulty scholar, she completed her honors thesis in the lab of Dr. Teresa Milner of Weill Cornell Medical College titled "Delta Opioid Receptors Are Differentially Affected by Stress in the Female and Male Rat Hippocampus." She is continuing as a McNulty scholar work working with Dr. James Bussel of Weill Cornell Medical College in clinical pediatric oncology-hematology research. She also plays #1 singles/doubles for Hunter College's women's tennis team, works as a Student Ambassador and serves on the executive board in the Undergraduate Student Government. She hopes to become a global health emergency medical physician focusing on academic medicine and international health policy.


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Chhime Sherpa

Faculty Mentor: Professor Mandë Holford, Chemistry


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Esraa Soliman

Faculty Mentor: Professor Frida Kleiman, Chemistry

Esraa, a junior at Hunter College and an aspiring doctor, is a McNulty Scholar majoring in Biochemistry with a minor in music literature and history.  She is also part of the Thomas Hunter Honors Program, where she is completing her special honors curriculum in Biochemistry.  Esraa is currently working in Dr. Frida Kleiman's lab, where she has been introduced to RNA processing, DNA damage, and the roles of p53 and BRCA1 in cancer research.  When they are not functioning normally, p53 and BRCA1 often cause the growth of cancer cells.  However, when they function normally, these proteins are significant tumor suppressors that activate other proteins to help repair the DNA damage and prevent cancer.  By understanding the roles of such proteins, we can be one step closer to finding the cure for cancer.

In addition to working in Dr. Kleiman's lab, Esraa is President of the Minority Association of Pre-medical Students (MAPS) and the Vice-President of the Pre-health Organization at Hunter College.  In both organizations, she helps create and present events that will benefit students who wish to pursue a career in medicine and provide them with the networks and resources necessary to succeed in their endeavors.  Esraa has volunteered at Dr. Farhat's office and in the mother-baby unit at NY Methodist Hospital, where her interactions with the patients increased her passion for medicine.  To further explore this passion, she conducted clinical research in the Emergency Department at St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital over the summer.  During this time, Esraa was exposed to medical techniques and practices in the emergency department, while assisting in research projects in an effort to improve the quality care of patients.

Esraa is also a research assistant at the Children's Environment Research Group in NYC.  With CERG, she is able to conduct research and case studies seeking to fulfill children's rights and improve the quality of lives of children world-wide.  When necessary, she also helps with Arabic translation.  Through her experiences, Esraa has confirmed her passion for medicine and received great satisfaction when interacting and comforting patients, especially children.  Aside from gaining the John P. McNulty Scholarship, she has also won the Anna Jacobs Scholarship, the HCF Scholarship, the President's Education Award for outstanding excellence, and she is part of the Golden Key Honor Society at Hunter College.  During her free time, Esraa loves to hang out with family and friends, play basketball, read medical novels, listen to music, dance, and hula-hoop.  Soon, she will be applying to medical school to become an emergency medicine doctor with a special focus in pediatrics.  Esraa is very thankful for the opportunities and support that the John P. McNulty Foundation has offered her.  With the support of the Foundation, her mentors, and her peers, she will be able to pursue her dream as a physician.


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