Chelsea Merkel – Chief Executive Officer
Chelsea is a 5th year PhD candidate in Cell Biology and Molecular Physiology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Her research investigates cell-cell contacts and mechanical continuity in heart muscle. When she is not at the bench or developing plans for 4RS, Chelsea can be found running the streets of Pittsburgh, scheming for ways to go to the International Space Station, or curled up with a good book and her grouchy rabbit.
Amie Barda – Chief Operating Officer
Amie is a 5th year PhD candidate in Biomedical Informatics at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Her research focus is in clinical informatics, specifically the design, implementation, and evaluation of clinical decision support systems. Although 4RS and research keep her busy, Amie also enjoys being a TA, serving as an officer in a local Toastmaster's club, mentoring high school students in a summer research program, and volunteering at a local animal shelter. In what little spare time she does find, Amie enjoys reading, baking, and spending time outdoors with her adorable dog.
Chris Chuckran – Vice President of Business Development
Chris received his B.S. in Bioengineering from Rice University and is currently a 2nd year graduate student in the Immunology PhD program at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. His research focuses on overcoming barriers to effective cancer immunotherapy through destabilization of suppressive immune subsets. Chris first dove into consulting as a member of Hitachi Consulting Corporation following his undergraduate studies and is excited to utilize the experience he gained in that role while in Pittsburgh. Outside of the lab, you are most likely to find Chris enjoying the outdoors with camera in hand, training for his next track race, or relaxing at a local coffee shop with a good book or new music.
Song-My Hoang – Chief Human Resources Officer
Song-My is a 3rd year PhD candidate in the Molecular Pharmacology program at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Her research focuses on understanding factors that regulate the Alternative Lengthening of Telomeres (ALT) pathway. Outside of the lab, you can find Song-My running on the streets of Pittsburgh with an eye out for new restaurants and fun activities to do in the city. She is currently in search for the best tacos in town. Song-My also enjoys camping, hosting board game nights, and obsessing over corgis.
Jingming Chen – Chief Professional Development Officer
Jingming is a PhD candidate of Bioengineering at the University of Pittsburgh, conducting research on tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. She is developing hydrogels to regenerate cartilaginous interfacial tissue to repair growth plates in order to help children avoid limb deformities or amputation after severe bone fracture or cancer. She also has a strong interest in medical technology commercialization and hopes one day she will launch a medical device that can benefit hundreds and thousands of people. Jingming is enthusiastic about connecting 4RS community with other talented professionals through inspiring career development events. In her free time, Jingming enjoys hiking, hiphop, and playing with her two fluffy chinchillas.
Justin Wendzicki – Chief Marketing Officer
Justin is a 5th year PhD student in Molecular Virology and Microbiology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. His research focus is in tumor virology, where specifically he studies the tumorigenic mechanisms of the newly discovered Merkel cell polyomavirus. A true Renaissance man, Justin spends his free time playing his blue ukulele, writing songs and plays, and studying Romance languages.
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