The 2022 HST graduates celebrate being together, as well as their successes, and hopes for the future

After more than two years of doing so many things online (including two years of graduation celebrations via YouTube and Zoom), there was palpable joy in the spacious auditorium on the 6th floor of the MIT Media Lab building—where the 2022 Harvard-MIT Program in Health Sciences and Technology (HST) graduates were able to once again gather and celebrate together, in person. This year, there were 51 HST graduates, with 35 attending the in-person ceremony.

During the ceremony, which took place on Wednesday, May 25, on a warm, sunny day—the graduates were able to walk across the stage to accept their certificates, pose for pictures, and listen to their accomplishments extolled, live. They gathered together on the steps outside the building for a group photo; and family and friends, visiting from near and far, sat in the audience, snapping pictures and listening to congratulatory remarks from HST Associate Director Richard N. Mitchell, MD, PhD; Dean of Harvard Medical School (HMS) George Q. Daley, MD (HST ’91), PhD; and Elazer Edelman, MD (HST ’83), PhD (HST ’84), Director of the Institute for Medical Engineering and Science (IMES).  Also participating in the ceremony were Emery N. Brown, MD, PhD, the outgoing co-director of HST, at MIT; and Wolfram Goessling MD, PhD, the co-director of HST at Harvard. (Collin M. Stultz, MD, HST ’97, PhD, is succeeding Brown as co-director of HST and associate director of IMES. IMES is HST’s home at MIT).

As is his custom, Mitchell, who served as emcee of the ceremony, wore his special HST graduation cap (a black Boston Red Sox baseball hat with a tassel), and he said it had been his privilege to teach many of this year’s graduates. He said the graduates have all “thrived and succeeded” but that they did so with the help of many of the faculty and leadership at the ceremony: “Like a turtle on a fence top, they didn’t get there by themselves.” He called their experiences of learning through a pandemic, “difficult, interesting” and he lauded them all for what they have accomplished, and will accomplish, in the future, “you’re all destined to make a real difference.”

Goessling, and Junne Kamihara, MD (HST ’08), PhD, shared the presentation of the graduates of the Medical Sciences, Doctor of Medicine program; Brown presented the graduates of the Medical Engineering and Medical Physics, Doctor of Philosophy program, and Director of Education Julie E. Greenberg, PhD (HST ’94), presented graduates of the Graduate of Education in Medical Sciences (GEMS) certificate program.

Dean Daley, during his remarks, said that as an HST alumnus, he was proud to speak at the ceremony, and he said that the program “represents the pinnacle of what is possible” when two institutions like Harvard and MIT collaborate, as they do to sustain HST. He listed some of the special projects accomplished by 2022 graduates, including serving as first authors of more than 50 research papers; and building a control system for a single-ventricle heart-assist device. He lauded this graduate class for viewing advances in medicine “through the lens of health inequities…you care deeply about evaluating social determinants…the world needs you.”

Brown introduced Edelman, who, pointing out that it was Brown’s last commencement as HST co-director, then described Brown as a person “of the highest scholarship and amazing empathy.”

During his remarks, Edelman spoke of how “pandemics and armed conflict” have always shaped medicine, pointing out that medical schools were founded during the Middle Ages, after the brutality of the Crusades and the scourge of global plagues. He mused that many leading medical leaders from history did their most important work while they were medical students. And he cited the “extraordinary array of talents…and the yearning for public service” among the ranks of HST students as the basis for the “greatness of IMES and HST.”

Kameron A. Kooshesh, a 2022 HST MD graduate, used his student address to not only congratulate his fellow graduates, but to thank the HST leadership and staff for working so hard to ensure that the disruptions of the pandemic did not dampen the HST experience. “The class of 2022 faced unique challenges,” he said, but the HST program still gave its students instruction from a unique perspective, “steeped in historic achievements in medicine, and science,” and, he said, it imparted key, core principles from which to approach problems. No matter where their careers lead them, he said, HST students will take with us the “lessons of where we began.”

HST MD graduates also participated in Harvard graduation events on May 26, and graduates of the HST Medical Engineering and Medical Physics (MEMP) PhD program received their degrees during the MIT Commencement ceremony on May 26 as well.

Doctor of Medicine; Medical Science

Radikha Agarwal, BS, PhD

Cum laude

Deciphering the Molecular Mechanisms of ALPK3- and FLNC-cardiomyopathy

Alice Catherine Bosma-Moody, BS

Transcriptomic Correlates of Exposure to Anti-Androgen Therapy in Advanced Prostate Cancer

Ken Chang, BNG, MNG, PhD

Enhancing Medical Imaging Workflows with Deep Learning

Jennifer Cloutier, BA, PhD

Activin Signaling Controls a Wound-induced Program Essential for Regenerative Patterning

Jonathan D. D’Gama, BA, PhD

Studies on Pathogenic Bacteria Using Genetic and Genomic Approaches and a Novel Small Animal Model

Samuel Finlayson, BA, MS, PhD

Learning Inductive Representations of Biomedical Data

Jon Hochstein, BS

A Circulatory Support System for Univentricular Hearts with Fontan Physiology

Travis Hughes, BS, MPH, PhD

Rose Seegal Prize   

Understanding the Cellular Ecology of Mtb Granulomas Using Single-Cell Sequencing

Bailey Ingalls, BS

Optimization and Advancement of Injectable Drug Delivery

Sebastian Koochaki, BS, MS, PhD

CBL and the Negative Regulation of Cytokine Receptor Signaling

Kameron Allen Kooshesh, BA

Magna cum laude

The Thymus is Essential for Adult Immune Function

Dylan Kotliar, BA, PhD

Cum laude

A Genome-wide Association Study Identifies Host Genetic Variants Associated with Susceptibility to Lassa Fever

Thúy-Lan Võ Lite, BA, PhD

The Genetic Landscape of Protein-Protein Interaction Specificity

Derek Liu, BS

Transcriptomic Correlates of Response and Resistance to Immune Checkpoint Blockade in Metastatic Melanoma

Alexander Munoz, BA

Magna cum laude
Seidman Prize for Outstanding HST Senior Medical Student Thesis

Transcriptomic Profiling of Mosaic Chromosomal Alterations at Low Cell-Fractions in the Adult Human Brain Identifies Clonal Gliopoiesis

Mark Aurel Nagy, BS, PhD

Magna cum laude

A Scalable Platform for the Development of Cell-Type-Specific Viral Vectors

Nathan Joel Nakatsuka, PhD

James Tolbert Shipley Prize
London Society Multiculturalism Award

Integrating Ancient and Modern DNA To Study Human History in South Asia and the Americas

Atousa Nourmahnad, BS

Collagen Glycosaminoglycan Bioscaffold Improves Skeletal Muscle Recovery in a Murine Model of Volumetric Muscle Loss

Sigurast Soley Olafsson, BS

Human Embyonic Stem Cell Derived Cardiomyocyte Model of Naxos Disease Associated Arrhythmic Cardiomyopathy

David Tyler Severson, BA, BS, DPhil

Magna cum laude

Understanding Histologic Heterogeneity in Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma

Sarah Shareef, BS, MS, PhD

Henry Asbury Christian Award   

Quantifying DNA Methylation and Heterogeneity in Cancer with Single Cell Resolution

Julie Urgiles, BA

Target Engagement Studies and PROTAC Derivatization of Small Molecule KARV3

Emory Lynne Werner, BA

Signal of Polygenic Adaptation in Hematologic Traits

Winston Xia Yan, BA, PhD

Towards Therapeutic Applications of CRISPR­-Cas Nucleases: Developing Technologies for In Vivo Gene Editing & Evaluating Genome-wide Specificity

 

Doctor of Philosophy in Medical Engineering and Medical Physics

 

Melodi Anahtar, SB

Protease Activated Nanosensors for the Noninvasive Diagnosis of Community-acquired Pneumonia

Marc-Joseph Antonini, SM, ENG

Customizing Multifunctional Bidirectional Neural Interfaces through Fiber Drawing

Paul Dannenberg, SB

Scalable Development of Multiplexed Microparticle Technologies for Optical Single-cell Barcoding

Shoshana Das, SB

Engineering Three Dimensional In Vitro Approaches to Study Cardiac Injury and Repair

Luke Funk, SB

Image-based Pooled Genetic Screens for Complex Cellular Phenotypes

Markus Attila Horvath, SB, SM

A Multimodal Approach to Investigate the Effects of Respiration on Fontan Flow to Inform Strategies for Circulatory Support

Lucy Hu, SB

Soft Robotics Applied to the Development of a Diaphragm Assist System

Szu-Yu Lee, SB, SM

Imaging Through Optical Multimode Fiber: Towards Ultra-thin Endoscopy

Vamsi Mangena, SB

Leveraging Human Brain Organoids for Studying Malignant Cell States and Intercellular Communication in Glioma

Nicolas Meirhaeghe, SM

Neural Encoding of Prior Experience in Sensorimotor Behavior

Eric Michael Moult, BNG

Optical Coherence Tomography Angiography for Imaging and Analysis of the Choriocapillaris in Late Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Richard Joshua Murdock, SB

Modular Magnetic Relaxation Nanomaterial Biosensor Platform for Local, Integrative Chemical Monitoring

Erin Byrne Rousseau, SB

Tools for Monitoring and Modulating Cellular Communication

Sandya Subramanian, SB, MPhil

Measuring Nociception Under Anesthesia

Kriti Subramanyam, SB

Chemotherapy-Eluting Intraperitoneal Implants for Advanced Stage Ovarian Cancer Treatment

Christina Myra Tringides, SB

Designing Viscoelastic Bioelectronic Interfaces: From the Organ to Cell Scale

Claudia Elena Varela, SB

Device-enabled Biomechanical Modulation of the Infarcted Heart

Simon Huang Ye, SB

Metagenomic Sequencing for Viral Diagnostics and Discovery

 

Certificate in Graduate Education in Medical Sciences

 

Monica Agrawal, SB, SM

Towards High-Quality Structured Data from Clinical Notes (pending)

Irene Yunshien Chen, BA

Machine Learning Approaches Towards Equitable Healthcare

Elad Deiss-Yehiely, SB

Layer by Layer Nanoparticles for Enhanced Biofilm Penetration and Antimicrobial Delivery

Marie Shi Feng, SB

Improving Qualify and Throughput of Online Help in Large Programming Classes

Alexander T. Jaffe, SB, MNG

Force-Coupled Ultrasound Imaging of Large Superficial Blood Vessels to Determine Arterial and Venous Pressures

Clara Park, SB, SM

Development of a High-Fidelity Biorobotic Cardiovascular in Vitro Simulator

Miguel Reyes, BNG, PhD

Profiling, Prototyping, and Perturbing Human Immune Responses

Mary Claire Strawser, SB, SM

Density-shift Immunomagnetic Separation for Pathogen Retrieval from Complex Media

Cristina Coralys Torres Cabán, SB

Technology Development for the Functional and Structural Analysis of the Brain

*Final degree lists were not available at time of publication so the list is subject to change. Official degree certifications should be requested directly from the MIT or HMS Registrar’s Offices.