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 Sororit
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!
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.
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
Rana Yousif
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Hi! I am a first-year pre-med biology student here at SDSU. This is my first time working in a research laboratory and I am thrilled to be working in Dr. Sussman’s lab on cardiopulmonary research on the effects of vaping. I’m very excited to gain more hands-on experience and knowledge during my time in this laboratory. I am involved in NAAMA Next-Gen as the secretary of the club. I volunteer weekly at Sharp Grossmont Hospital in the ER department and I run my church’s youth/adult group and plan events for children ages 2-12. In my free time, I enjoy hanging out with family, friends, and spending time with my dog!
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.
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.
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.
Parker Amburn
I am a third-year honors Biology student excited to be working in the Sussman lab! I’m interested in Genetics and Virology, and I look forward to gaining in person experience in a lab setting. Since I’m an insatiable learner and I’m passionate about all things Biology, I hope to pursue a masters/PhD in the future. When I’m not studying or in a lab, I’m often at the zoo or the aquarium reading the placards and studying the animals.” I’ve also attached a photo of me below.
Thank you!
Kylie Farber
My name is Kylie Farber, and I am thrilled to be a member of the Sussman lab. I am dedicated to investigating the intricate impacts of vaping on cardiovascular and respiratory health. I have been conducting research utilizing image flow cytometry and machine learning to explore ploidy in the myocardium. As an aspiring scientist, I am passionate about unraveling the mysteries of human physiology. I am going into my 4th year studying biology at SDSU. So far in the lab I have thoroughly enjoyed applying everything I have learned in school to real lab practices, and I am eager to learn more.
Lena Adnan
Hi! I am a second year pre-med biology student and am part of Sussman’s Lab researching the effects of vaping on the cardiopulmonary system. I love being in a laboratory setting, and I’m excited to be a part of this lab to learn and get hands-on experience researching something so prevalent in my generation. Apart from the lab some things I do is volunteer at my local hospital in the ER department and I enjoy being a part of clubs such as NAAMA Next Gen. I also enjoy hanging out with family, friends, and playing sports/ exercising whenever I can!
Flora McKay
I am a third-year Pre-Medicine Biology student at SDSU. This will be my first year volunteering in the lab. I could not be more excited to learn more about research and to get more involved on campus. I am so interested to learn more about the long-term implication of vaping and nicotine on the heart and lungs. In my free time, I enjoy working out and going to the beach with my friends. I am also on the SDSU Cheerleading team. I have always had an interest in human anatomy and how the body works together to allow us to function. I can’t wait to make discoveries and realizations in this lab, as well as assist the Master students in any way they need
Alex Guzzardo
My name is Alex Guzzardo and I am a fourth year pre-med student studying Kinesiology at SDSU. I’m excited to be apart of the Sussman lab and work alongside welcoming and like-minded people. As an inspiring physician, I am fascinated by the human physiology and am curious to discover long term effects of nicotine on the human anatomy. I am eager to learn as much as I can from the master and PhD students and gain hands on experience before embarking on my journey in medicine.
Morgan Wright
Hi! I am a systems neuroscientist from UCSD (2017). Using neuroprosthetics to modulate autorhythmic neurons, I explored neural circuits underlying the oscillitory governance of spike timing in the hippocampus, and clarified their role in processing of episodic memories. I also recently assisted with SARS CoV 2 aerosol collection under Dr. Rohwer and Dr. Mokili at SDSU. Currently, I am an instructor for lab courses at SDSU and community colleges across San Diego county while I apply to MD/PhD programs. In my spare time, I help people with disabilities race Martin 16 sail boats, and I’m also on a S2 Racing Yacht team (Team Fiasco). When I’m not on the water I am usually under my car or elbow deep in an engine bay.
Dylan Dawood
As much knowledge or information I thought I had known about certain subjects, I have always been humbled by the great amount of information which exists and new discoveries being found at incomprehensible speeds. This realization ultimately guided me towards research and the biotech industry where I hope to someday make a difference. I, currently, am pursuing both my B.S. degree in Chemistry with an emphasis in Biochemistry, as well as a B.A. degree in Physics at San Diego State University where I plan to graduate in 2026. Discovering how things work has always been a great passion of mine, and I believe that this education allows me to channel this interest to bring something new into the vast sphere that is scientific research.
Farah Jaafar
Hi my name is Farah Jaafar and I am a volunteer in Dr. Mark Sussman’s lab. As a senior in high school, I can see how prevalent vaping has become in our society. I wanted to join this lab to learn more about how vaping affects the heart and the lungs in hopes to inform my fellow classmates on the topic to encourage them to quit or never start. Currently I focus on practicing echo analysis as well as shadowing other mentors and and aiding with their projects. Outside of the lab I work as a hostess at DiLeones, enjoy playing basketball, and volunteer for animal adoption centers! I’m excited to be a part of this lab and experience what it’s like to work in a research environment. Not only that but I hope I can spread awareness on the negative affects of vaping and why people should quit.
Rosemary Annunziata
Hello! I am a fourth-year Cellular/Developmental Biology Major + Chemistry Minor. I am so excited to be part of such a big and collaborative lab. I wanted to join Dr. Sussman’s lab so that I could gain more laboratory experience and know what working in a lab may look like, before searching for a job. I love that everyone is willing to teach each other new skills. I come into the lab to shadow Grads/ PH.D students and assist them with any tasks they may need done. I have already learned a lot!
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