Name: Mihir Narendra Patel

Hometown: Indianapolis, IN

Working with: Arvind

Mihir Patel graduated from Ben Davis High School in Indianapolis, IN, in 2017, and is currently an undergraduate majoring in biology and minoring in chemistry and sociology at Duke University. He has long been fascinated by the molecular mechanisms that govern the heterogeneity of cell identity and found the Tata Lab’s exploration of the nexus between differentiation and tumorigenesis very intriguing. In particular, he appreciates how subtle molecular switches, such as the upregulation or downregulation of specific transcription factors, can transmute cells during varying conditions, such as chemical or virus-mediated injury or carcinogenesis. Furthermore, he is very interested in studying the genetic and epigenetic foundations of these phenomena. In the future, Mihir aspires to transform his ardent passion and curiosity for biological mechanisms to pursue either an MD or an MD/PhD. Outside of the lab, Mihir volunteers for cancer and diabetes awareness student organizations on campus, is involved in multicultural organizations, and enjoys graphic designing and following sports.

Name: Avani DesaiScreen Shot 2018-04-03 at 10.33.09 AM

Hometown: Chapel Hill, NC

Working with: Aleks

Avani is a second year undergraduate student at Duke who is majoring in Biology and minoring in Global Health and Chemistry. She joined the Tata lab to explore her interest in cell biology and investigate the mechanisms used to maintain cell identity. Through the Tata lab, Avani has not only learned valuable laboratory techniques, but she has also developed her critical thinking skills as a researcher and furthered her passion for science and discovering new knowledge. Avani hopes to continue exploring her scientific interests in medical school and as a physician one day. When she is not in the lab or class, Avani enjoys participating in Duke DevilThon and FAC Board, volunteering at Duke Hospital, and spending time with her friends.

Name: Adrian Lopez

Home town: Bronx, New York

Working with: Yoshi

From a very early age, Adrian felt very compelled to learn about the world around him and how everything worked. He admired the beauty of life and was mesmerized about how the world around us, including living organisms, functioned. Adrian went on to study at the Bronx High School of Science and graduated with distinction, receiving awards such as the National AP Scholar Award and the National Hispanic Scholar Award. He then went on to the Pratt School of Engineering at Duke University and received Dean’s List for the Fall 2017 semester. Adrian is very curious about how technology can be used to better understand the human body and all of its beautiful intricacies and hopes to get an MD/PhD in Biomedical Engineering when he graduates from Duke.

As mentioned before, Adrian is very passionate about learning how the physical world works. Specifically, he is very interested in electrobiology, quantum biology, and bioinformatics and is very excited to do research in these areas because he knows that a plethora of scientific breakthroughs in these areas are soon to come. Adrian was very eager to join a lab because he wanted to get experience doing research and wanted to make a difference in the scientific community.  He joined the Tata lab at the Nanaline Duke Building specifically because he wanted to help combat lung-related illnesses which account for a large majority deaths worldwide.

When he is not in the lab, he is either volunteering at the Pettigrew Nursing Home, working out at the gym, or watching video lectures at MIT’s OpenCourseWare Page. Adrian also has a deep appreciation for baseball as he played at Yankee Stadium for the City Championship as a freshman and was team captain of his team as a senior. Last but not least, Adrian also has a fond appreciation for nature and enjoys going on adventures with his friends to the Duke Gardens every now and then.

Name: Rebecca LeeScreen Shot 2018-04-02 at 2.23.04 PM.png

Hometown: Andover, Massachusetts

Working with: Aleks

Rebecca Lee is currently a sophomore majoring in Biology, minoring in Visual Arts. She originally became interested in Biology during high school when learning about how all humans are almost genetically identical, yet look so different from each other. This interest continued as her desire to focus on the why and how biological mechanisms work increased. Fortunately, she was able to find the Tata lab, and hopes to expand her knowledge of the field. When she’s not in lab, she enjoys drawing and watching anime.


Name: Sakib Hoque
Hometown: San Antonio, TX
Working with: Aleks
Sakib Hoque is a second-year Questbridge scholar at Duke pursuing a major in Biology with minors in Chemistry and possibly Linguistics. He has always had a keen fascination over aging in all its various aspects and plans on pursuing an MD/ Ph.D. with a focus on geroscience, extending the healthy lifespans of individuals as a whole. What first enchanted him about the Tata lab is their focus on regeneration and development of cells in lung tissues and since joining he has been able to learn a plethora of new skills while constantly being fascinated by the vast knowledge he gains every time he goes into lab. When not in lab, Sakib likes to spend his time volunteering at nursing homes, doodling imaginary worlds, playing board games, and discovering new places to explore and activities to do with his friends.”

Name: Robin Yeh image001

Hometown: Oyster Bay, NY

Working with: Hiro

Robin Yeh is a third-year undergraduate at Duke University from Long Island. She is majoring in Visual Arts with minors in Biology and Chemistry, on the pre-med track. She became involved in the Tata Lab after working with Dr. Bernard Mathey-Prevot. She saw that she liked working with science hands-on and being able to visualize the concepts. She found interests in lung regeneration, and how the cells react to different conditions, and how those conditions can be manipulated and used in healthcare. Robin enjoys working in visual arts because it brings a new perspective to a heavily-science based environment. The creative industries and medicine complement each other, in learning precision, patience, and understanding the human condition. When not working, she enjoys cooking and volunteering with Arts for Life at the Duke Children’s Hospital.