Who We Are
Monét received her Ph.D. at Cornell University in Biomedical Engineering before her postdoctoral research career at Virginia Tech/Fralin Biomedical Research Institute. She is an Assistant Professor in Bimomedical Engineering and Mechanics at Virginia Tech. Outside of the lab, she loves all things fashion, natural hair care, painting, playing video games, and also being a new plant mom.
Theme Song: "Float" by Janelle Monae
Originally from Tampa, FL, Hailey received her Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering
from Florida State University. Throughout her undergraduate degree, she became interested in the distinguishable characteristics that cancer cells have and methods of targeting these characteristics to improve the effectiveness of treatments. This interest inspired her to pursue research opportunities post-grad and to pursue graduate school to expand her knowledge of these topics.
Outside of the lab, Hailey enjoys being outdoors, running, playing her Nintendo Switch, and
going to the movies.
Theme Song: ‘I’m Still Standing’ by Elton John
Samantha is of Indian origin, but she has lived most of her life in the vibrant city of Dubai. She has always had an interest in tackling human disease on the molecular level. This led to her pursuing her undergraduate degree in biotechnology with a focus on molecular biology and nanotechnology, which she carried into her master's degree in biomedical engineering, and still maintains an interest in for her PhD. In her free time, she loves to try cooking new recipes, play role-playing videogames, and do arts and crafts.
Theme Song: "Eye of the Tiger" by Survivor
De Shanna Johnson
De Shanna was born and raised in North Carolina. Her academic interests have always been centered around Tissue engineering and cell-cell interactions from the age of 14! She received her BSE in Biomedical Engineering from Duke University in 2020 and promptly entered the biotech industry after graduating. Being able to experience the work field confirmed her interest in further education. She enjoys playing video games(mostly the SIMS and anything Zelda-related), cooking, and painting in her downtime.
Theme Song: "Love on Top" by Beyonce
Khadijat is currently an undergraduate student studying Mechanical Engineering at Virginia
Tech. Outside of the lab, she enjoys activities with a certain level of adventure, such as hiking and rock climbing. She also spends her free time writing stories and poems.
Sara is currently an undergraduate in Biomedical Engineering with a minor in Computer Science at Virginia Tech. She previously worked at the Davalos lab for about 2 years where her main focus was studying brain cancer and the blood brain barrier. Outside of the lab, she is the Vice President Internal for the Society of Professional Hispanic Engineers and enjoys encouraging others to pursue their passion for STEM. She also enjoys playing tennis, spending time with family and friends, and wind surfing.
Gianna is a junior at Virginia Tech, pursuing a major in Biomedical Engineering along with a minor in Integrative Health and Wellness. Raised in the heart of New Jersey, she has been captivated by the realms of science and medicine from an early age. Her journey began in a medical office, where her exposure ignited a profound passion for medicine. Her research interests include neurological research and tackling cancer-related challenges, exploring biomechanics and the role of nutrition in wellness. Beyond the lab and academic endeavors, she enjoys listening to music, spending time with friends and family, working out, and alpine skiing.
Melody is an Undergraduate Researcher and ESTEEMED Scholar that was born in Bayamon, Puerto Rico, but raised in Roanoke, Virginia. She’s always wanted to study at Virginia Tech to obtain a major in Biomedical Engineering and a minor in Spanish. Over the summer, she participated in a rotation-based research experience that allowed her to explore different labs at Virginia Tech, which led her to discover an interest in cancer research within Biomedical Engineering. Outside of the lab, she likes to hang out with friends, visit family, read, and play video games.
Ryan is a junior majoring in Biomedical Engineering. She was raised in Virginia Beach, Virginia and had a passion for math and science from an early age. During High School, she interned in the BioCirc Research Laboratory at Drexel University studying fluid mechanics of pediatric cardiovascular devices. This experience confirmed her interest in biomedical engineering and medical research. In college, she developed an interest in cancer research and hopes to support such research efforts throughout her academic and professional career. In her free time, she enjoys running, hiking, and baking.
Elise is a sophomore majoring in Biomedical Engineering at Virginia Tech. She grew up in Virginia Beach, Virginia and has been interested in tissue engineering and cancer research since high school. Previously, she has shadowed a biomedical engineer at ODU and worked with the SMARTS Living Materials Lab at Virginia Tech. Outside of the lab, she is a competitive member of the Virginia Tech Club Cross Country & Track Team and is involved in Cru, a campus ministry. In her free time, she enjoys reading, hiking, and making her own sourdough bread and kombucha.