Jessica Tan

Jessica Tan is a Biochemistry major at Montclair State University. She has taken part in various volunteer programs locally and overseas, mainly in Singapore, Cambodia and Vietnam. Through these experiences, she aspires to pursue a career in Reconstructive Surgery. She is currently conducting research with the guidance of Associate Professor, Dr. David Konas. The research focuses on synthesizing CdRP analgogs with altered functional groups in order to investigate the substrate specificity of IGP Synthase from M. tuberculosis (MtIGPS). If successful, this work could be important for the identification of novel inhibitors of MtIGPS and the design of potential anti-TB drugs.


Amit Persuad

Amit Persaud is currently a junior in the undergraduate Biology program at Montclair State University. Being a part of the Montclair State University EMS allows him to gain hands on experience by assisting his fellow coworkers in providing appropriate care to their patients.Last summer, he has completed over 300 hours of shadowing at Valley Hospital in Ridgewood. He is also a member of the Montclair State University EMS, Biology club, and National Society of Collegiate Scholars. After earning his B.S. in Biology he plans on attending medical school and becoming an orthopedic surgeon.

Katertna Mykhatlova

Kateryna Mykhaylova is a senior student whom is majoring in Biology. Once she graduates she aspires to go into medical school to become a doctor specializing in reproductive medicine. Kateryna uses her background, in biology, to apply the latest theories in weight-loss for the clinic in CQOR. Along with clinical practice, she was one of the authors for a research paper titled, “Geometrical representation of the human body provides new insights into body fat distribution.” She has gone to ObesityWeek 2015 in LA and LSAMP conference in Rutgers to present her findings.

Blanca E. Mendez is an undergraduate at Montclair State University pursuing a B.S. in Molecular Biology with a minor in Chemistry. She has been involved in different leadership positions on campus such as being a teacher assistant in a Biology research lab. Blanca has done research with The Science Education Alliance and the Phage Hunters Advancing Genomics and Evolutionary Science (SEA PHAGES) which is known as Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) at Montclair State University. She also attended Experimental Biology 2015 in Boston and a trip to Washington, DC for the joint advocacy day and Obesity Week video shoot on May 2015. She plans on becoming a Physician Assistant in the future.

Nicholas Jascewsky

Nicholas Jascewsky is currently an undergraduate student of Molecular Biology at Montclair State University. He is looking to pursue a career in medicine, has a deep interest in clinical work, and is delighted to gain hands on clinical experience. Nick is also a SHIP student currently conducting research on the role of specific enzymes in lipid metabolism.

Elena Macias

Elena Macias is currently an undergraduate student of Biology at Montclair State University. She is part of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society and Sigma Alpha Lambda National Leadership and Honor Organization. Elena, has been shadowing different Physician Assistants at Palisades Medical Center since the summer of 2015. She is currently working at a pulmonologist’s office as an assistant office manager, which has given her the opportunity to enrich her knowledge and have direct patient contact. After completing her bachelors of Science, she plans on becoming a Physician Assistant with a specialty in Emergency Medicine or Neurosurgery.

Mathematics Majors

Mirna Halawani

Mirna W. Halawani is in her second year as an undergraduate student at Montclair State University. She is pursuing a combined 5-year B.S./M.S. in Mathematics with concentration Statistics. Mirna believes the quote “mathematics is not just a series of calculations and a sum total of statistics, it's about experience, it's about participation, it is something more complex and more interesting than what is obvious”. Mirna has been awarded a 2013-2014 Science Honors Innovation Program scholarship to study the relationship between sitting time and body weight with Dr. Marc Hamilton of the Pennington Biomedical Research Center. She hopes to enrich her education by learning statistics from a biological point of view and apply statistical conclusions to advance science.

Nutrition Majors

Julian Litrento

Julian Litrento is junior Nutrition and Food Science major with a concentration in Dietetic with a minor in public Health. Julian is the first President of CQOR. He employs his nutritional education to provide a comprehensive diet plan for the patients whom visit the center. Once he obtains his B.A., he plans to become a registered dietician. Afterwards he plans on acquiring his Ph.D. in nutrition and eventually work for the FDA and potentially work in research. Julian utilizes his nutrition knowledge and leadership to make the Center for Quantitative Obesity Research run as smoothly and efficiently as possible.

Lucille Tang

Lucille Tang is currently a junior studying Nutrition and Food Science with a concentration in Dietetics. She is interested in how food biologically interacts with the human body and how it psychologically influences the perception of satiety. Her goal is to empower individuals, with or without diseases or disorders, with the ability to eat happily and healthily. After completing her Bachelor’s degree, she hopes to become a Registered Dietitian and work towards a Ph.D.