Our Alums

Tannya Cai      Former Editor-in-Chief      Class of 2016

tannyaAs a happy Canadian, I have travelled many miles to frolic in the stochastic weather of Durham. I am a double major in Biology and Economics—my love of neuroscience began with mental health, and blossomed through the discovery of prions. I am particularly fascinated by the diseased and abnormal brain, as well as the brain in decision-making. As a Fall 2016 graduate, I’m eager to apply this passion to my work as a future physician. In my spare time, I love dancing, figure skating and cultivating my not-so-secret ardor for piano, yoga, and cooking. I also have a particular fondness for mountains, flipping through books, and rainy afternoons.

Katrina Vokt      Former Editor-in-Chief      Class of 2017

katrinaI was born and raised in San Jose, California, and fell in love with neuroscience after taking Neuroscience 101 my first year of college. Neurogenesis has been near and dear to my heart since joining the editorial board my sophomore year because it is a publication that highlights and embodies Duke’s (and the nation’s) expanding network of undergraduate neuroscience researchers. When I’m not neuroscience-ing, you can find me volunteering in the Duke Hospital, running on the Al Buehler trail, or exploring Durham and all the quirks it has to offer. I’ll be graduating Spring 2017 with a major in Neuroscience and I plan to pursue a career in medicine.

Ruth Melka      Former Managing Editor      Class of 2017






Sarah Hakani      Former Managing Editor      Class of 2017


From a young age, I’ve had a passion for education work and reform. Discovering how neuroscience directly ties in to that goal during my time at Duke opened up several interdisciplinary opportunities for me. I am fortunate that one of those activities was Neurogenesis, where I learned more about the interactive, interdisciplinary applications of neuroscience. Through learning more about how the brain influences every single field, I am further inspired to use my neuroscience degree to continue work within education. In my spare time, I love to read, paint, and make music, and hope to always continue creating on my own after entering the field of education reform and policy.

Kirsten Bonawitz      Former Publishing Editor      Class of 2017


I was born in Michigan and spent a majority of my childhood there besides living for three years in Mississauga, Canada and then another three years in Monterrey, Mexico.  My family presently resides in Washington DC.  I was introduced to neuroscience during my freshman year through the “Exploring the Mind” cluster of the Focus program and have been in love with the discipline ever since.  I currently research the genetics of Alzheimer’s disease as a member of the Dr. Chiba-Falek lab.  Some of my other involvements include Duke EMS, volunteering for the Community Empowerment Fund, and dancing with Duke On Tap.  I am graduating Spring 2017, and I plan on taking a gap year before applying to medical school.

Shaq Junaid      Former Publishing Editor      Class of 2017


I grew up in West Palm Beach, FL after moving from the Bronx when I was 3 years old. As a freshman, I was in the Exploring the Mind FOCUS program. In one of my FOCUS courses called Drugs and the Law, I wrote a final paper about LSD that ended up being published in Neurogenesis and propelled my interest in neuroscience and pharmacology. I had such a positive experience working with the editors of Neurogenesis that I decided to become one myself two years later. Outside of class, you can catch me playing guitar in my bedroom, running through campus, cooking, and eating at one of Durham’s incredible locally-owned restaurants (and also Chipotle). I’ll be graduating in the Spring 2017 and I’m excited to continue onto medical school next year!

Shobana Subramanian      Former Publishing Editor      Class of 2017


Shivee Gilja      Former Design Editor      Class of 2017