Meet our Schmidt Science Fellow nominees

Meet the UW’s five nominees for the prestigious Schmidt Science Fellowship, which aims to expand the boundaries of early-career scientists by introducing them to new fields, research methods, and more. Read more about the fellowship as well as the nomination and selection process.

Roy Burstein

Roy Burstein is a PhD candidate in the Department of Global Health’s Metrics and Implementation Science program and a Model-Based Geostatistics Researcher at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME). His research focuses on child mortality in low-resource, data-sparse settings. His work guides the implementation of health and policy initiatives, and helps decision-makers in these fields track progress to development goals and better understand health inequalities within and across countries. Previous to this work, Roy collaborated to implement large-scale primary data collection of nationally representative surveys in health facilities and developed tools to help the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation track the impact of vaccination programs. Roy enjoys drawing, painting, and spending time with his partner Clare and cat Ralphie. A native of the Pacific Northwest, he loves biking, hiking and climbing.

Hal Holmes

Hal Holmes is a PhD Candidate in Bioengineering at the University of Washington. Hal’s graduate work in Dr. Karl Böhringer’s laboratory focuses on the development of an automated system for handling small volumes of liquid with microfabricated surfaces. In the past year, Hal and his advisor began collaborating with the non-profit Conservation X Labs to apply this technology to serve as a DNA screening tool to prevent illegal trafficking of timber and wildlife products. Moving forward, Hal aims to continue applying engineering concepts and technologies to solve critical problems in conservation and protect the natural biodiversity of our planet.

Mitchell Lee

Raised along the red dirt roads that crisscross the Oklahoma panhandle, Mitchell moved to Washington state shortly after graduating high school. After completing his A.A.S. at Everett Community College, Mitchell completed a B.A. in Philosophy and a B.S. in Biology with an emphasis in Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology at Western Washington University. During undergraduate studies, Mitchell discovered his passion for Molecular Biology and Genetics. He completed a M.S. at WWU under the guidance of Lynn Pillitteri where he studied Molecular Neurodevelopment using C. elegans (roundworm). Under the combined mentorship of Matt Kaeberlein and Alan Herr, Mitchell currently uses S. cerevisiae (budding yeast) to model drivers of cancer and identify novel compounds that can be used to extend the healthy life span of companion pets and ourselves.

Xiaojuan Liu

Xiaojuan Liu is a PhD student in atmospheric sciences. She earned undergraduate and master’s degrees in atmospheric sciences at Ocean University in China and the Chinese Academy of Sciences, respectively. She also earned a master’s in applied mathematics at the UW while working toward her PhD. Her research uses numerical models to study how large-scale geologic features impact the climate, and provides critical insights into processes related to climate change. For fun, Xiaojuan enjoys getting out in nature by hiking, biking, sailing and skiing: often with her husband and 22-month-old daughter.

Susana Orozco

Susana pursued her undergraduate degree (Bachelor of Arts in Molecular and Cell Biology) at the University of California, Berkeley, in 2007. After graduation, Susana taught middle school science in Oakland, CA as a member of Teach For America (2007-2009), and concurrently earned her Master of Arts in Education at Alliant International University. She is currently a PhD candidate in the Molecular and Cellular Biology Program at the University of Washington (UW); she is doing her dissertation work in the laboratory of Dr. Andrew Oberst in the Department of Immunology. While her research focuses on programmed cell death and immunity, she is also interested in host-pathogen interactions and global health. Susana was a UW ARCS fellow (2012-2015). She grew up part-time in central Mexico, and enjoys science, soccer, swimming, and alliteration.

published January 24 2018