Maram, Juliana, and Herma join the lab!

The Lucks lab is excited to welcome 3 new members—Herma, Juliana, and Maram!

Herma Demissie is a first year PhD student in the Chemical & Biological Engineering program. She received a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Colombia University. As an undergraduate student, Herma worked with Dr. Allie Obermeyer studying the complex coacervation behavior of ELP fusion-proteins in vitro and in vivo in E. coli. After graduating, she worked as a healthcare investment banker helping biotech companies meet their business needs. At Northwestern, she plans on developing biosensors to detect viral pathogens. She also plans on getting involved in outreach initiatives to help students from underrepresented backgrounds gain access to education in the life sciences. In her free time, she enjoys reading and exploring new museums and parks. Fun fact: Herma was born and raised in Ethiopia!

Juliana Feng is an MD/PhD student who previously earned a B.S. in Materials Science and Engineering from Johns Hopkins University. In college, she worked in the Wagner lab to elucidate the function of the muscle-specific gene Mss51 in mice and in the Mao lab to investigate the effect of DNA-PEI particle size on HEK293 cellular uptake and transfection efficiency. She is now finishing her second year of medical school. In the lab, she is planning to interface cell-free biosensors with hydrogels to detect clinically relevant analytes. Outside of lab, she hopes to advance educational equity through systems and outreach work. She loves drinking tea in tiny porcelain cups, frying plantains, and baking birthday cakes. Fun fact: She currently moonlight as a babysitter!

Maram Naji is a Chemical & Biological Engineering PhD student. She earned a B.S. in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and Psychology from Johns Hopkins University. Before Northwestern, she researched novel drug combinations against mycobacterial infections and developed an in vitro pharmacodynamic system for assessing antibiotics in the Nuermberger Lab. In the Lucks Lab, she plans to research bacterial riboswitches as targets for antibiotics. Outside of lab, she enjoys biking and reading nonfiction. A fun fact is that her name is spelled the same forward and backward (palindrome!)

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