Sophie Rokaw
I am a third-year Pre-Medicine Honors Biology Student, and have been in the Sussman Laboratory since my first year! I currently help with Lung & Heart Histology, Imaging/Imaging Analysis, and the managing/genotyping of our colony in the vivarium. I am eager and excited to continue the growth of my skills within the Lab.  I volunteer at Scripps Memorial La Jolla in my free time and am an active member of the Kappa Delta Sorority.
Sama Mikhail
I am a third-year student at SDSU studying microbiology and an undergraduate researcher in the Sussman Lab studying the cardiopulmonary effects of vaping. I started my work in the lab six months ago, and I am passionate about continuing my studies and growth in the lab as a student researcher. I also love to be involved in my campus community, and I am passionate about gender equality, cultural awareness, and reproductive rights.
Ariana Mardani
I am a third-year student at SDSU studying Kinesiology. I have been working in the Sussman lab for a year now and have loved learning the long term effects of nicotine as well as have enjoyed the hands on experience I’ve been able to provide all throughout. Research has always been an interest of mine and so this lab has really gifted me the ability to experience what I love, alongside a crew of extremely welcoming people. This past year a majority of my work was done in the basement, making sure the mice were kept in good conditions. Aside from that, I have had the pleasure of assisting the Master and PhD students in any way I can. I cannot wait for my next year in this lab and the knowledge to come from it!
Faid Jaafar
I am a fourth-year pre-medicine student at SDSU studying microbiology and I will be working in the Sussman lab as an undergraduate researcher studying the cardiopulmonary effects of vaping. I look forward to gaining skills and knowledge in my studies as I have always found interest in the field considering how common vaping has become. 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 am also a student leader with involvements such as co-president of NAAMA NextGen, vice president of Project iHope, and secretary of Refugee Aid at SDSU.
Haley Mathews
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I am a third-year Pre-Medicine, Microbiology student, and a member of the Sussman Lab researching the effects of vaping on the cardiopulmonary system. I have always had a huge interest and passion for the anatomy of the human body and its functions, which is why I am beyond excited to learn from the Masters/ PhD students and gain experience through this lab. In my free time, I coach/ compete in gymnastics and volunteer with adolescents wishing to pursue a career in STEM fields.
Amy Hickman
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I am a third year cellular and molecular biology major at SDSU. I absolutely love the laboratory setting, particularly that of medicine. As a certified phlebotomy technician, I plan to grow in my laboratory skills, so I look forward to explore Dr. Sussman’s research here on campus. I think both the social and health impacts that vaping have in our society have been detrimental, so I am very excited to play a role in this research!
Mckenzie Buss
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I am a 4th year undergraduate student studying cellular/molecular biology and psychology here at SDSU with future career plans in healthcare. I was drawn to Dr. Sussman’s lab for its research on the adverse effects of vaping as well as regenerative cardiology, and I am looking forward to gaining hands-on experience in these areas. As a former EMT and medical assistant, I am additionally looking forward to the opportunity to approach human health and disease from a molecular research-based perspective as well as expanding on my laboratory skills. In my free time, I enjoy playing and watching soccer, reading, and spending time with my dog.

Bella Navarro
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Hi! I am a third- year student at SDSU studying Public Health. I am pursuing a pathway of pre-medicine studies with the hopes of going to medical school in the future. I have a great interest in the intersections between public health and medicine. My involvement in the Emergency Department as a medical scribe has highlighted the importance of heart health and the risk factors that play a large role in your overall health. I am thrilled to be a part of the Sussman lab to study the effects of vaping on the cardiopulmonary system to further explore and learn about the heart and lungs. I am looking forward to learning from the Masters/PhD Students in the lab and expanding my laboratory skills. Outside of the lab, I am a Lead Scribe at Palomar Health in the emergency department and volunteer in the Telemetry unit at Kaiser. In my spare time I love to exercise and explore San Diego 

Nicholas Konja
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I am a first-year pre-dental, biology student, and a member of the Sussman research lab studying the effects of vaping on the body. Vaping affects a majority of my generation and I want to learn how it will affect my peers later on in life. Outside of school I am a radiographer at Saint Orthodontics and also make patients retainers. I also teach church school to 1st graders every Saturday morning at my local parish. I look forward to learning about the effects of vaping and getting more hands-on experience in a lab.

Nicole Chen
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Hey everyone! My name is Nicole and I’m finishing my last semester here at SDSU majoring in Kinesiology with a minor in Business Administration and I just applied for Physician Assistant (PA) school. I wanted to spend my remaining time volunteering in Dr. Sussman’s lab and it’s been an amazing experience so far running the SCIREQ machine and helping the grad students. The incredible support and learning opportunities I’ve been given from all the staff and other volunteers has made me so grateful to have joined. (Better late than never!) Besides the lab I am part of a professional business fraternity (Alpha Kappa Psi) on campus and I currently work as a phlebotomist for Family Health Centers of San Diego. When I’m not at school you’ll find me trying new coffee shops, working out, or playing card games with my friends!

Natosha Welborn
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I am a 4th year Pre-Med, Biology and Criminal Justice student at SDSU. I added a second major in Biology when I became curious and excited about performing experiments in my first college Biology class at SDSU. I joined Dr. Sussman’s lab the beginning of Fall 2022- I am excited to learn more about the effects of vaping in the human health and to get more hands on experience in the lab.

Esmerelda Salcedo
Hi! I am a third year pre-med student majoring in biology and have just joined Dr. Sussman’s lab. I am constantly seeking to expand my knowledge about what the future of healthcare looks like, and I believe the research being done in this lab is important for it. I am excited to improve my skills in the lab and to learn from other volunteers and staff! Apart from the lab, I work as an EMT, I’m apart of Gamma Phi Beta Sorority, and I serve on the executive board for Miracles for Kids and the American Red Cross Club. 

Gina Jerjees
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Hi! I am a third year pre-med biology student with the privilege of working under Dr. Sussman and his master/PhD students in hopes to understand the effects of vaping on the cardiopulmonary system. I am also involved in WSS, social media coordinator on NAAMA Next Gen, and served as community service coordinator in AMSA in the Spring of 2022. I am excited to expand my knowledge of the cardiovascular system that I have gained through being a medical assistant at the office of Dr. Kafri’s Heart and Vascular Clinic and hopefully make a difference among my college peers. In my free-time, I like to learn the effects of self-care, exercise, go shopping, and read a good book.

Calista Forlenza
Hello! I’m a third year microbiology major here at SDSU. This is my first time working in a laboratory and I am very excited to be working in Dr. Sussman’s lab in cardiopulmonary research. I am very passionate about chemistry and physiology and can’t wait to learn from this research experience. In my free time I enjoy snorkeling and traveling. I am also involved in a few clubs here on campus such as Flying Samaritans, the Mustard Seed Project, and Doctors Without Borders. I am grateful for the opportunity to work in Dr. Sussman’s lab on a project that is so prevalent in today’s society and eager to learn as much as I can from the experience.
Eddy V
I’m a fifth year pre-med biology student at SDSU. I became interested in vape related lung injury research after seeing its prevalence, especially in people our age. In my time outside of the lab I have both worked and volunteered as an EMT. I also have many hobbies including hydroponics, sports, and last but not least chicken keeping. I have a full chicken coop in my backyard at state! I am new to the lab but so far it has been amazing gaining hands-on experience, and I have learned so much about the step by step process that goes into any kind of research.