Faculty, Students & Alumni
Faculty and Staff
Class of 2024
Lexi grew up in a small, rural town outside of Albany, NY and graduated from Ithaca College in 2020 with a B.S. in Biology and a minor in counseling. Since then, Lexi has been living in Buffalo and has held roles in the mental health and education field. Growing up an hour south of the Adirondacks, Lexi always loved to go hiking, camping, white water rafting, and all other outdoor activities in the summer months. In the winter, she takes to cozy armchairs to read fantasy and historical fiction novels, as well as to snuggle with her pup. Day to day, Lexi loves to garden, try new restaurants and be creative in her own kitchen!
Kristen grew up in Plymouth, Massachusetts, and graduated from James Madison University in 2020 with an Independent Scholars degree in Biomedical Illustration and Inequality in the Biological Sciences. She was able to combine a love for self expression through drawing and painting, with a deep interest in biology and reflecting on how learners process new information visually. While at JMU, she cultivated her passion for teaching in different settings, becoming a yoga instructor and later manager of her university’s recreation center, General and Organic Chemistry Course study session leader, and coordinator of the Alternative Spring Break Program, where she facilitated dialogues and trainings to prepare leaders to design and carry out impactful community service experiences. After graduating from JMU, Kristen moved to Madrid, Spain, for two years to pursue a Master’s in Bilingual and Multicultural Education from the University of Alcalá and to work as a teacher at a local secondary school. During her time in Spain, she loved the opportunities to travel, spend afternoons at Retiro Park picnicking with friends, and take Spanish classes. In her free time, Kristen loves to draw, paint or woodburn, work as a yoga/pole dance instructor, and try every boba tea shop in the city!
Maya Del Rosario
Maya grew up in New Paltz, a small college town in upstate New York. She graduated in 2020 from Skidmore College with a degree in Neuroscience and Psychology. At Skidmore, she pursued research in both cognitive and behavioral neuroscience, as well as social psychology. After graduating, she moved to Boston to work as a clinical research assistant for two geneticists at Boston Children’s Hospital. She is currently working on research projects like BabySeq 2, eMERGE IV, GENIE, The Manton Center for Orphan Disease Research, and infant mortality studies that involve parent interviewing, both in the NICU and virtually. In her free time, she enjoys watching reality TV, hiking, reading, drawing, and attending local trivia nights. Her profession interests include research and clinical education and administration.
Melissa grew up in Lake Hopatcong, New Jersey, a small town in northern New Jersey. She moved to Boston to attend Northeastern University and graduated in 2019 with a degree in Behavioral Neuroscience. As an undergraduate, Melissa completed an internship as a day program instructor helping adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities develop their independent living skills. She then joined a molecular genetics core lab where she discovered her passion for genetics while assisting with gene discovery research for early-onset psychosis. Since graduating, Melissa has been working with and supporting patients and families with rare genetic conditions as a clinical research assistant at Boston Children’s Hospital. Her experiences serving those in need and working in clinical research while interacting with genetic counselors made her realize that a career in genetic counseling was a great fit. In her free time, Melissa enjoys shopping, traveling, swimming, bike riding, and watching sci-fi and comedy drama shows.
Abigail Gregg graduated from Florida Gulf Coast University in 2018 with a bachelors in biology and a minor in entrepreneurship. During her undergrad, she completed an internship at a GI research laboratory at Massachusetts General Hospital. She moved back to Boston full time in early 2019 to work in the same research lab, where she serves as the laboratory coordinator. In her free time, she is the lead vocalist in a Boston-based jazz band called Midnight Motion. She also recently started playing tennis again after coaching youth aged 10 and under for 5 years. Genetic counseling sparked her interest when discovering that it is a patient-centered and advocacy-focused career path and she is thrilled to be a part of the BUGCP class of 2024!
Alison (Ali) is originally from Los Angeles, CA. She graduated from University of California – Santa Barbara in 2017 with a B.S. in Pharmacology and a minor in Professional Science Communication. While at UCSB, she was involved in age-related macular degeneration research that aimed to better understand the various ways light-sensitive cells in the eye degrade and investigate restorative methods to preserve/improve vision. She also gained counseling experience by interning with the Community Helpline. After college, she accepted a Genetic Counseling Assistant job at the Cleveland Clinic where she supported the cardiovascular, pharmacogenomics, prenatal, and ophthalmic teams. When she’s not in the office, Ali enjoys exercising, fostering dogs, surfing, and sampling the restaurants and bars that make up Cleveland’s social scene.
Cassie grew up in Vermont, where she learned to love animals, hiking, and maple syrup. She graduated from Cornell University in 2017 with a B.A. in Biological Sciences, a minor in Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, and an appreciation for wine from the Finger Lakes. After graduating, she moved to California and has been in the genetics industry since – first at Blueprint Genetics, and then at Invitae. When Cassie has the time, she likes to quilt, knit, or read with a cup of tea in hand. She also loves petting dogs, colorful autumn leaves, and waffles.
Ashana is originally from St. Catherine, Jamaica. She has spent a significant portion of her life in New York City. In 2020, she graduated from Marist College with a B.S. in Biomedical Science. At Marist, Ashana was the Resident Assistant for her college’s Multicultural Housing. After graduating, she was a cancer genetic counseling assistant and a psychosocial rehabilitation worker. She was also an intern for a project geared toward spreading awareness about Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer within the Black community. Her love for music led Ashana to partake in many creative outlets, such as singing and theatre. She enjoys finding ways to use what she loves to convey a message and spark an emotion in someone else. In her free time, you can catch her immersed in a book or seeking new experiences/places. Ashana loves going to the beach (or any warm place), visiting museums, discovering hidden gems, and so much more!
Cassandra was born and raised in Califon, New Jersey and attended Florida State University where she obtained her degree in Psychology. There Cassie took part in the First Year Abroad Program where she got to spend her first 12 months of college in Spain and Italy! During and after college, Cassie volunteered at 211 Big Bend where she was crisis hotline counseling for Helpline 211 and the National Suicide Prevention Line. She then went on to become a training assistant to help prepare future counselors to answer the phones. After graduating, Cassie became a medical assistant and spent time in cardiology and endocrinology clinics before switching gears and becoming a residential counselor at a 24-hour group home for men with schizophrenia. In her free time Cassie loves to read, spent time with loved ones, be outdoors, travel, and spend time with her two cats.
Adriana was born in New York City and grew up in Santiago, Dominican Republic. Adriana returned to New York City and graduated in January 2021 from the City College of New York, where she majored in Biology and minored in Studio Art. During undergrad, she volunteered as a reading partner for children in grades K-5, assisted children with disabilities during their therapeutic horsemanship lessons, and was a Crisis Counselor for Crisis Text Line. After graduating, Adriana trained as an English/Spanish Medical Interpreter, was a Research Assistant intern for a genetic counseling graduate student, and worked with children with cognitive and developmental disabilities as a Community Habilitation Specialist & Respite Provider. Adriana has always been passionate about nature and art, so she loves botanical illustration and birdwatching.
Jaime is originally from Lexington, MA but lived in Atlanta, GA for five years prior to moving back to Boston. She graduated from Emory University in 2021 with a degree in Neuroscience, Behavioral Biology, and Sociology. At Emory, Jaime conducted clinical research that investigated the genetic and social factors that contribute to the increased risk of Alzheimer’s Disease within minority populations. After graduating, Jaime worked as a genetic counseling/research assistant at the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta in their pediatric neurology department. Jaime has loved reacclimating herself to Boston and is currently working part-time at Beth Israel Hospital’s Center for Maternal Fetal Medicine as a prenatal genetic counseling assistant. In her free time, Jaime enjoys kickboxing, exploring the city, and spending time with her friends and family.
Gwen (she/her) is from Southbury, Connecticut and graduated from the University of Connecticut with a B.S. in Physiology and Neurobiology in 2021. She is currently in the dual degree MS Genetic Counseling/MPH program and finished her practicum this past summer at the Boston Medical Center Refugee Women’s Health Clinic. She continues to volunteer with a sexual assault center back home in CT as a crisis counselor and teaches swim lessons with kids on the weekends. In her free time, Gwen enjoys swimming, crocheting, cooking and baking, and trying new foods!
Emma Van Hook
Emma hails from the Washington, DC area and spent over a decade working in public policy and government affairs before making this exciting pivot to genetic counseling. Through this work she collaborated closely with the patient, provider, and scientific advocacy community in advancing shared priorities around innovative research and patient access to care. Emma is passionate about issues impacting personalized medicine, oncology, and rare diseases. She is eager to learn and grow into the field of genetic counseling and help patients and their families navigate complex and personal health care decisions. Emma loves being outside and enjoys volunteering in outdoor education and habitat renewal activities. In her free time you may find her running, eating ice cream, birding, or watching Hokie football. Emma received her BS in Biology from Virginia Tech and an MS in Biotechnology from Georgetown University.
Class of 2025
Katherine (“Katie”) Anderson grew up in rural upstate New York and attended college in the same area, graduating from Colgate University in 2021 with a degree in Biology. While at Colgate, Katie interned within Stakeholder Research and Engagement at a Washington, D.C-based disease advocacy organization, Genetic Alliance, discovering an interest in policy that impacts healthcare access, specifically for the publicly insured. Following graduation, Katie moved to Boston to work as a coordinator within the Angelman Syndrome Clinical Research Group at Boston Children’s Hospital, where she managed a multisite natural history project and worked closely with parent support organizations, as well as industry partners launching clinical trials. During this time, Katie also became involved in the local community through coaching youth field hockey and volunteering at a women’s shelter in downtown Boston. In her free time, Katie enjoys trying new dance classes, birdwatching, running around the Charles River, and spending time with family in downeast Maine.
Caitlyn is originally from Portland, OR. She graduated from Northeastern University with a BS in Biology and minors in Human Services and Mathematics in 2023. While at Northeastern, Caitlyn worked as a research GCA at Boston Children’s Hospital with the Manton Center, in policy and research roles, and most recently with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. She is passionate about public health genetics and community health, and looks forward to the opportunity to learn and grow at BU. Outside of work and school, Caitlyn enjoys connecting with food and plants, practicing yoga, and updating her Goodreads.
Samantha grew up in Roseville, Minnesota and graduated from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities in 2023 with her Bachelor of Science in Genetics, Cell Biology and Development with a minor in Public Health. While at UMN, Samantha was heavily involved in the university’s Pre-Genetic Counseling Club and was an advocate for the National Organization for Rare Disorders Students for Rare UMN chapter. Additionally, Samantha immersed herself in the research sector of genetic counseling as an undergraduate research assistant, focusing on funding in genetic counseling research. Outside of her schooling, Samantha volunteered with Crisis Text Line, worked as a Certified Pharmacy Technician at Hennepin Healthcare, and coached soccer to kids between ages 5 and 8 at her local soccer club. In her free time, Samantha enjoys reading, staying active through indoor cycling and running, spending time with her family and friends, and searching for any excuse to attend local concerts and listen to live music.
Kai (they/them) grew up in Marlboro, New Jersey. They moved to the Boston area to go to Brandeis University, graduating with a B.S. in Biology and Chemical Biology. During undergrad, they worked in a fly genetics lab. After graduating, they worked as a research assistant at Boston Children’s Hospital, working with both trans patients and patients with differences in sexual development/intersex conditions. In their free time, they enjoy hanging out with their dog, Tilly; taking care of their plants; and learning how to cook.
Katherine (Kath) grew up in Boulder, Colorado. She moved to the Boston area for college and, except for one year in California, has been in the area ever since. She received BA and MA degrees in the history of science from Harvard. She has worked in educational publishing for many years as a writer and editor, mostly in math and science with occasional forays into social studies and other fields. A pandemic layoff led to some soul-searching, which in turn led to this exciting career pivot into genetic counseling. She volunteers for Crisis Text Line. In her spare time, she enjoys baking, puzzles, music, community theater, crochet and other crafts, roleplaying games, travel, and snuggling her cat.
Timbria is from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and graduated from the University of Florida in 2020 where she received a Bachelor of Health Science with a minor in Public Health. During college, she had the pleasure of serving as the Vice President of the Multicultural Association of Pre-Health Students (MAPS). She also volunteered at Rahma Mercy Clinic, assisting patients who were underinsured/uninsured, or experiencing homelessness, and at Balance 180 Gymnastics & Sports Academy, where she worked with children with intellectual or physical disabilities, helping them acquire fundamental motor and social skills. During the spring break of 2020, she traveled to Cap-Haïtien, Haiti with P4H (Projects for Haiti) Global for a week-long impact trip where she helped develop and present a health education curriculum. After graduating, Timbria worked for the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity and Department of Children and Families, assisting callers with COVID-19 pandemic unemployment & food benefits. In 2022, she transitioned to working as a Genetic Counseling Assistant at GeneDx where she managed issues that prevented patients’ testing from moving into the lab or report-writing process. This role ended during the summer in preparation for moving to Boston. Timbria is committed to promoting health equity and health literacy within historically disadvantaged communities, with a special focus on the Black community. Her aspiration is to help increase diversity within the genetic counseling profession on both the patient and practitioner sides and to serve as a mentor to prospective students. During her free time, she loves reading fiction books, going to the beach, cooking, binging a good show, traveling and trying new food, and spending time with her loved ones. In 2020, she also opened an online shirt store with Bonfire called TB’s Collection of Concepts which is focused on positive impactful messages such as health equity and the pursuit of thriving.
Lauren is from Seattle, WA. She got her degree in Biology from the University of Redlands while playing collegiate volleyball. After graduating, Lauren worked in immunodiagnostics for two years before quitting her job and moving to Australia with a working holiday visa. Upon returning from Australia, Lauren worked in various lab roles before transitioning into the world of genetics with a job at Blueprint Genetics. In her free time, she loves to exercise, bake cookies, watch reality tv, and read sci-fi novels.
Julia is originally from Arlington, MA and graduated from UMass Amherst in 2019 with a degree in Psychology and Education, and a certificate in Social Work and Social Welfare. She returned back to the Boston area after college, where she has spent the majority of her professional life between Boston Children’s Hospital’s Genetics and Metabolism Program, and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute’s Department of Genetics and Prevention, as a Patient Coordinator and Clinical Research Coordinator, respectively. In her free time, Julia thoroughly enjoys skiing, teaching spin classes, spontaneous road trips and watching all of Boston’s sports teams!
I am from Germany originally and grew up internationally, moving to India, England and eventually Princeton, NJ about 13 years ago. I graduated from Dartmouth College in 2021 with a BA in biology with a concentration in genetics. For two years after graduation, I worked at Boston Children’s as a research assistant studying the glycosylation of RNAs, while volunteering for the Crisis Text Line. In my free time, I listen to a lot of music, podcasts and audiobooks and I love spending time with friends and cooking and baking for them.
Lupita Sanchez grew up in California and graduated from Wesleyan University in 2020/2021 with a BA/MA in Biology. At Wesleyan, she worked in the Coolon lab where she investigated the context dependent regulation of Rap1 and its downstream target genes in yeast using RNA sequencing. After graduation, she moved to Boston and worked as a research assistant at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. There, she did work in a human genetics lab focused on investigating gene-environment interactions in Mesoamerican Nephropathy, a chronic kidney disease that presents in young, agricultural workers, primarily in Central America. Around the same time, she began volunteering for the Trevor Chat, a crisis hotline focused on the LGBTQ+ community. To gain more experience in the clinical setting, she took a position as a genetic testing coordinator at Dana Farber Cancer Institute and assisted genetic counselors with their daily tasks as well as presented patients diagnosed with cancer the option to pursue genetic testing. In her free time, Lupita loves climbing and works as a climbing coach for the non-competitive teams at Central Rock Gym. She also enjoys baking, hiking, running, traveling, spending time with friends and family, and playing with her cat Pepper.
Kaycee is originally from Eugene, Oregon. She graduated from the R.D. Clark Honors College at the University of Oregon in 2017, with a major in biology and minors in Spanish and Biochemistry. After graduating she worked in various roles in education. She was a one-on-one assistant for a student with osteogenesis imperfecta, provided regular support to a student with autism, and co-taught in a 3-4 grade classroom. Outside of work, Kaycee likes to get involved with her community and has volunteered at a domestic violence shelter and with LGBTQ+ youth. In her free time Kaycee has many hobbies, mostly involving food, crafts, and spending time outside. She loves gardening and then cooking delicious meals with all the things that she has grown.
Erica grew up in the small town of Tully, New York and graduated from the University of Rochester in 2018 with a Bachelor of Science in biochemistry and minors in chemistry and Spanish. After graduation, she moved to Boston to pursue a career as a patent agent. While working on patent portfolios in the gene therapy space, Erica learned about the genetic counseling field and pivoted to a genetic counseling assistant position at Boston Children’s Hospital. She has volunteered through Horizons for Homeless Children as well as a Big Brothers Big Sisters program for adults with disabilities. In addition to her love of genetics and patient advocacy, Erica enjoys going to the beach, attending aerial yoga classes, eating lobster, and playing frisbee with her dog, Ruby.
Charmaine is from Botswana and has been living in Massachusetts for over 15 years. She was a Biology major at University of Massachusetts (UMASS), where she obtained her Bachelor of Science. Before UMASS, she graduated from Bunker Hill Community College (BHCC) with an Associate of Science in Biology. Her education at BHCC solidified her interest in genetics and passion for giving back to the community through volunteer work. She currently volunteers with Cradles to Crayons and the Many Helping Hands 365 programs. She hopes to continue to give back through programs that are centered around advocacy for underrepresented groups. Charmaine has experience working in the industry space; she’s worked as a Lab Assistant, Quality Specialist and most recently as a Genetic Counselor Assistant for Invitae. In her free time, she enjoys leisurely walks while listening to music, reading, and spending time with her family.
Sarah grew up in Miami, Florida, and graduated from Georgia Tech in 2021 with a degree in biochemistry. In college, she was a peer coach with the Excel program, an inclusive post-secondary education program for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities. After graduating college, she moved to Boston to work at Massachusetts General Hospital as a clinical research coordinator on a project studying the implementation of an electronic decision-aid tool that supports genetic testing decision-making for patients with ovarian or pancreatic cancer. Since moving to Boston, she has loved volunteering at the Cambridge Women’s Center! In her free time, she enjoys reading, baking, and spending time with her dog, Chloe!
Meet our Alumni