Grant Shain
I have been working in Dr. Sussman’s lab since August 2020 and recently completed my master’s degree in cell and molecular biology. My master’s thesis unearthed murine sex differences after exposure to e-cigarette vapor containing nicotine relative to e-cigarette vapor without nicotine and non-exposed controls. Changes in cardiac function, structure, and aging associated markers were identified. Additionally, I manage and train personnel to perform immunofluorescence, immunoblot, histology, ELISA, qRT-PCR, and flow cytometry assays in the lab. Outside of the lab I enjoy surfing, skiing, and cooking.
Clarissa Savko
I am a 1st year PhD student and long-time member of the Sussman laboratory! I joined in the Fall of 2017 as an undergraduate volunteer and have had the honor to grow here as a student, researcher, and leader ever since. I was originally drawn towards cardiovascular research because of my own family history of heart disease. My personal experiences fostered a curiosity for how the heart is studied and treated in various pathological conditions. The Sussman lab has taught me to appreciate the complexity, challenges, and significance associated with cardiovascular research. I am grateful for the opportunities I have had to fine-tune my skills in mouse work, histology, microscopy, biochemical assays, and data analysis. I have applied these skills to projects studying the effects of chronic vape exposure on the cardiopulmonary system, specifically how vaping mediates the response to treatments such as exercise and myocardial infarction. As a senior lab member now, I prioritize the training and mentoring of our undergraduate students to ensure that the skills I have gained are passed down to the future generation of scientists. I plan on a career in academia in which I can continue this rewarding cycle of transferring scientific knowledge and discoveries to my students, the scientific community, and the world at large!
Faid Jaafar
Hello! I’m Faid, I joined the Sussman lab as an undergrad in 2022 and graduated in 2023 with a Bachelor’s in Microbiology, on the pre-med path. I’ve spent my gap year while applying to med school working as a research assistant in the lab, studying the cardiopulmonary effects of vaping. I’m the undergrad program coordinator and I’m mainly skilled in echocardiography acquisition and analysis. Our studies intrigued my interest due to how prevalent vaping has become in our society. Working at a Heart and Vascular Clinic intrigued my passion for cardiology, and I am excited to branch out in researching the effects on both the heart and lungs. In my free time I tutor refugees at Ibarra Elementary and I’m also a student leader with involvements in organizations such as NAAMA NextGen, Flying Samaritans, Project iHope, Bridge of Hope, and Refugee Aid.
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