Meet the Editors


Connor Hile      Editor-in-Chief     Class of 2018


I am from Omaha, Nebraska, and I became interested in neuroscience through my personal experiences with concussions from playing football my entire life. In addition to Neurogenesis, I am involved with Synapse and the Neuroscience Majors’ Union here at Duke. In addition, I can be found playing basketball and soccer, weightlifting, running, or reading. I will graduate in the spring of 2018 with a degree in Neuroscience, and I plan on pursuing a career path in research and medicine.

Managing Team:

Jackson Xu      Head Managing Editor      Class of 2018


I was born and raised in China and came into contact with neuroscience after taking the introductory psychology courses. Neuroscience is really interesting to me because it seems to me a great combination of psychology and science. Working in Neurogenesis has been a great experience. Aside from helping to published one of the greatest neuroscience journals, I’ve learned so much from the articles we published and the meetings! Aside from neurogenesis I spend time volunteering in the hospital, working in cancer biology research lab, and exploring North Carolina. I’ll graduate Spring 2018 with a major in Biology and I hope to combine my interests in cancer and neuroscience in my future career in medicine.

Meghana Vagwala      Managing Editor      Class of 2018


As a Program II Major in Body, Brain, and Mind, I am fascinated by how our lives are moderated by a feedback loop between mental and somatic experiences. My coursework and research weaves neuroscience and psychology together with philosophy, anthropology, and literature. Last summer, I worked on an exciting cognitive neuroethics project at Oxford, examining moral ecologies that lead to smart drug use by students. At Duke, I split my time between Dr. Kafui Dzirasa’s Psychiatric Neuroengineering Lab and Dr. Brandon Kohrt’s Global Mental Health Lab. Outside of school, I enjoy eating tater tots with my SLG Round Table, volunteering as a domestic violence hotline advocate, working on the Breaking Out Campaign, and cheering for the Patriots on lazy football Sundays.

Rohini Paul      Managing Editor      Class of 2018

RohiniAlthough I was born in the busy metropolitan city of Calcutta, India, I was raised in the sunny suburbs of the Bay Area in California. My interest for neuroscience originated here during my junior year of high school when I took AP Psychology and was introduced to the biological bases of behavior. When I matriculated to Duke, I built on this interest by enrolling in the Exploring the Mind FOCUS Program and other neuroscience classes; over the past three years, my love for learning more about the brain and the secrets it holds has only grown. I have been able to even explore my interest in the cross-section of neurobiology and mental health by conducting research on PTSD under the mentorship of Dr. David Rubin for the past two years. Although I will be graduating in the Spring of 2018, I am excited to continue my passion for neuroscience in medical school as well!

Chris Lai      Managing Editor      Class of 2019

ChrisI am a junior from Princeton, NJ, and am interested in pursuing a neuroscience major with a chemistry minor. My academic interests include neurodegenerative diseases and cancer biochemistry. I am currently working in Dr. Rodger Liddle’s lab researching enteroendocrine cells and diseases of the nervous system. I have also spent time at Mount Sinai Hospital studying epigenetics in glioblastoma pathology. Outside of academics, I enjoy sports – especially soccer – and music.

Kanav Chhabra      Managing Editor      Class of 2019

KanavI am from Dallas, TX and am pursuing a Neuroscience Major and Global Health Minor here at Duke. I became interested in neuroscience because of the lack of knowledge surrounding reasons behind mental illnesses and my fascination with the workings of the brain. I am also involved with NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) at Duke and GANO. My hobbies include tennis, basketball, hiking, and reading. I will graduate in Spring of 2019 and plan to pursue a career in medicine.

Publishing Team:

Tina Zhao      Head Publishing Editor      Class of 2018

tinaI was born and raised in Beijing, China. Now I’m a senior at Duke majoring in neuroscience and minoring in art history. My interest in neuroscience began when I was child listening to clinical stories from my parents. In college, I became more fascinated in the brain as I explored neuroscience both in classes and in Dr. James McNamara’s epilepsy laboratory. Learning theories from books as well as discovering new findings through research have excited me to pursue neuroscience in greater depth. I hope to share this passion with my friends through Neurogenesis and in a future career in medicine!

Kathy Dai      Publishing Editor      Class of 2018

KathyI’m a senior majoring in Neuroscience and minoring in Chemistry and Biology. I was born in Shanghai but raised in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. My excitement for research and brain science started in high school, when I studied collateral circulation in mouse brains with Dr. James Faber at UNC Chapel Hill. Now I’m investigating the genetic basis of neurodegenerative diseases in the Chiba-Falek Lab at Duke. My hobbies include photography, STEM outreach, and hanging out with my living group, Round Table.

William Chen      Publishing Editor      Class of 2019

WilliamRaised in Irvine, California, I am thrilled to be involved in neurobiology research at Duke. What draws me into neuroscience is its interdisciplinary nature that intersects with topics from biology, psychology, economics, and computer science to name a few. Also, who could possibly resist studying the brain? I firmly believe in the mission of Neurogenesis in fostering academic conversations by featuring opinions, reviews, and undergraduate research. In my spare time, I enjoy serving my community with brothers from Alpha Phi Omega, playing basketball and tennis, and performing the violin. I plan to pursue a career in medicine and research.

Nidhila Masha      Publishing Editor      Class of 2019

Nidhila My interest in neuroscience stems from my experiences volunteering at a center for developmentally disabled children, back home in Silicon Valley. Upon coming to Duke, I was fortunate to join the Art Vision and Brain Bass Connections Team—where I researched differences in facial processing in individuals with an autism phenotype. I am currently working in Dr. R. Alison Adcock’s lab, studying motivation and reward pathways in individuals with ADHD. Outside the lab, I love to construct riddles and design escape rooms! I also volunteer at Veritas Collaborative—a clinic for children with eating disorders—and at Abilities United—a center for adults with developmental disabilities. Working at these two centers has been the most rewarding experience of my Duke career and drive me, more than anything else, to continue pursuing neuroscience. It is a discipline with such incredible potential and I am excited to help undergraduates add their contributions to the field through Neurogenesis!

Design Team:

Gehua Tong      Head Design Editor      Class of 2018


I grew up in Shenzhen, China and entered Duke with an interest in the interface between engineering and brain science. I joined Neurogenesis in Freshmen year as a layout designer and have been enjoying the process of tweaking the layout to improve the experience of reading the journal. In my spare time at Duke, I enjoy sketching people, playing the Chinese fiddle, learning languages (especially Japanese), and planning events for my SLG. I plan to complete my degree in Spring 2018 and to further my studies in graduate school.

Michelle Dalson      Design Editor      Class of 2018

michelleI am from Victorville, California, and as a student pursuing a career in medicine and research, I like to spend my time reading scientific articles and blogs on a variety of medical topics. Neuroscience happens to be one of my favorite topics to read about, since I am fascinated with the technology used to diagnose many neurological diseases. Thus, being a Design Editor for Neurogenesis gives me the rewarding opportunity to think critically, analytically, and creatively as a researcher. I also spend my time doing research on the molecular basis of pain, volunteering at the Children’s Hospital, and tutoring. Aside from my academic activities, I also love to dance, listen to K-Pop, read fiction, and spend time with animals. I will be graduating in 2018 with a major in psychology, and will pursue a career in academic medicine.

Riya Dange      Design Editor and Website Manager      Class of 2019


I grew up in Sunnyvale, California, a suburban city characterized by its cultural diversity and cutting-edge technology. Day in and day out, I was surrounded by people whose habits, minds, opinions, and perspectives all operated in vastly different ways. “What makes each person tick?” I wondered – and continue to wonder even today. I’m a junior at Duke University pursuing a major in neuroscience and a career in medical research. Outside of class, I compete for Duke’s Mock Trial team and conduct research on the evolution of visual systems. I joined the Neurogenesis editing board my sophomore year to partake in a community of focused, ambitious aspiring researchers. Currently, I’m in charge of designing our website and the visual spreads for our print magazine.

Esther Liu      Design Editor and Website Manager      Class of 2019


I was born and raised in Vancouver, Canada, and was extremely excited to come to Duke for all the opportunities it offered. I became interested in neuroscience through the psychology courses I took as a freshman. As neuroscience is a relatively new field, I am interested to learn as much as I can about it. As a design editor, I work on the visual spreads of the journal articles and the main website. Outside of Neurogenesis, you will probably find me volunteering at the Duke Hospital, working in a cancer biology lab,  or at Perkins. I will be graduating Spring 2019, but I plan to continue conducting research and to pursue my passion for medicine!