Equal Access in Science and Medicine maintains a small committee of trainees at Johns Hopkins University. Don’t hesitate to reach out using the contact information below, or sign up for email updates through our Listserv.
Hi! My name is Nicole Pannullo and I’m a second year PhD student in the Cellular and Molecular Medicine program in the School of Medicine! I grew up on Long Island, NY and received a B.S. in biochemistry from Rochester Institute of Technology. I have type 2 Usher syndrome, which means that I am hard of hearing and have retinitis pigmentosa, a degenerative retina disease that primarily affects my night vision and peripheral vision. My desire to understand the science behind my condition and develop therapies for retinal diseases, many of which lack treatment options, led to two undergraduate research experiences and a postbaccalaureate fellowship at the National Eye Institute as well as my current position as a graduate student in the Blackshaw lab.
I became a member of the Equal Access in Science and Medicine Committee because I want to create a more inclusive and supportive environment for scientists with disabilities, chronic illnesses, and mental health conditions by building a community and developing resources for trainees with these conditions. I currently live in Baltimore with my fiance and our two dogs. My hobbies include baking, playing the clarinet and piano, weightlifting, and playing Animal Crossing New Horizons! You can reach me at email@example.com.
My name is Erica Avery and I’m a 5th year PhD student in the Cellular and Molecular Physiology program in the School of Medicine and am currently a member of the Claypool lab studying mitochondrial phospholipid metabolism. I’m originally from New Jersey and received a BS in Biochemistry and minor in journalism from Rowan University. I was diagnosed with a chronic illness known as fibromyalgia syndrome in 2012 as a freshman in college, marked by its hallmark chronic pain and fatigue, but as a syndrome, its symptoms are so much more. This condition is very poorly understood and lacks good treatment options. As a scientist, I felt failed by science and medicine in its initiative to understand and research this illness in addition to the societal stigmas behind it. Additionally, 90% of FM patients are biologically female, and studies show women’s pain is taken less seriously.
Because of my experiences with ableism and lack of accessibility and accommodations throughout my academic career, I wanted to contribute to the Equal Access in Science and Medicine Committee initiatives because I sought to build a community and bring awareness to the disability, especially as it can contribute to diversity. I have published personal essays in publications like ASBMB Today and Scientific American about my illness in an effort to increase awareness. In addition to writing in my spare time, I enjoy fostering kittens, making cosplay, yoga, and playing piano. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hello! My name is Emily Xiao, and I’m a first year medical student in the School of Medicine. I grew up in Chicago and earned a B.A. in history at Yale University. My experiences as a deaf child in an immigrant family — in which English wasn’t the first language — led to my interest in disability and race studies in college.
I joined the Equal Access in Science and Medicine committee because I want to work toward better health equity for people with disabilities. We need to improve disability representation in the medical and biomedical professions, and I hope to help build a supportive community among trainees who experience disability, chronic illnesses, and mental health conditions. In my free time, I enjoy reading, solving crosswords, and going for long walks with friends. Feel free to reach out to me at email@example.com!
My name is Claire Bell, and I’m a fifth year PhD candidate in the Human Genetics program at the School of Medicine. I grew up in Arlington, Virginia, and earned my bachelor’s degree from the College of William and Mary. I am working on my thesis in Don Zack’s lab, tracing vertebrate retinal cell lineages at the single cell level.
I came on to the Equal Access in Science and Medicine committee from the beginning with Anna. My sister has bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, while I’ve struggled with depression and anxiety issues much of my life. My hope for this committee is that we will help destigmatize invisible illnesses within the scientific community and beyond, and provide a source of support, encouragement, and solidarity for students who may be struggling with their health, whether mental or physical, during their time at Hopkins. When I’m not in lab, I’m reading, crocheting, hiking, or just relaxing at home with my husband and our cat, Atlas, and our dog, Bizi (who love each other)!
My name is Anna Moyer, and I’m a sixth year PhD candidate in the Human Genetics program in the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. After growing up in rural Pennsylvania, I received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in biology from the University of Alabama. My younger brother has Down syndrome, and I’m currently researching cerebellar development in mouse models of Down syndrome under the guidance of Dr. Roger Reeves.
I co-founded the Equal Access in Science and Medicine committee with Claire in 2019 based on my experiences as a graduate student with a chronic illness. I have Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, which is a genetic connective tissue disorder that causes a variety of symptoms- for me, POTS and MCAS among others. I hope that the new lecture series and other committee activities will improve the experiences of other trainees with chronic illnesses on the East Baltimore campus. In my free time, you can find me working on my website of visual recipes for people with intellectual disabilities, writing for the Biomedical Odyssey blog, and updating my Catstagram account. I also enjoy knitting, drinking tea, and watching the Food Network with my cat, Matilda.