Undergraduate Research Program

Pain Program Students

2020 Pain Program Students

Alina Chandra

Alina Smiling in tree.Institution: University of Washington
Faculty Mentor: Jennifer Rabbitts, Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

Nuria Alina Chandra is an Interdisciplinary Honors student at the University of Washington. She is interested in the intersections between biology, computer science, and public health. Alina was first exposed to research as a volunteer lab assistant in the Kutter Bacteriophage Lab at Evergreen State College. She later interned in the Subramanian Immunology Lab at the Institute for Systems Biology. This summer she is working with Dr. Jennifer Rabbitt’s research team, studying the development of chronic pain in patients with traumatic musculoskeletal injuries. This research is of particular interest to her as it considers not only the physiological determinants of pain, but also the sociocultural determinants. After graduating, Alina plans to attend graduate school. She hopes to continue conducting research that addresses issues surrounding healthcare from both biological and sociocultural perspectives.


Vishal Kumar

Vishal smiling in front of cameraInstitution: University of Washington
Faculty Mentor: Emily Law, Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

Vishal Kumar is a senior at the University of Washington. He is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and plans to obtain a Ph.D. in Clinical Child Psychology. Outside of his classes, he has been doing psychological research with the Study & Advancement of Justice Effectiveness (SAJE) research lab. His research experience and his experience tutoring elementary students who are homeless and from historically underserved populations has motivated him to work with the child demographic. After he receives his doctorate, he would like to work as a principal investigator in a research lab for a research-oriented university, while also becoming a licensed psychologist. His ultimate goal would be to implement his own research in his clinical practice. This summer, Vishal is working with Dr. Emily Law to conduct research that focuses on characterizing psychological and family functioning in youth with recurrent and chronic migraines. Outside of school and research, Vishal likes playing basketball, reading books, and spending time with family.


Kathy Nguyen

Kathy smiling next some silver railingInstitution: University of Washington
Faculty Mentor: Kushang Patel, Anesthesiology & Pain Medicine

Kathy Nguyen is a Junior at the University of Washington studying neuroscience and global health. This summer, Kathy is working with Dr. Kushang Patel in the Dept. of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine to comparatively examine active interventions in efforts to increase and sustain physical activity in the geriatric knee osteoarthritic population. She is looking forward to exploring the relationship between physical activity and sensory function measured through quantitative sensory testing. During the school year, Kathy serves as an officer of student-led organizations such as Vietnam Health Clinic, a non-profit dedicated to improving access to healthcare for underserved populations in Vietnam and the Khmer Student Association. Outside of school, Kathy enjoys distance running, volunteering for various community projects, and spending time with her family and friends, especially her grandmother. In the future, she intends to pursue a career in medicine where she hopes to focus on bridging inequities in healthcare among under resourced communities.


Corinna Oswell

Corinna giving a thumbs upInstitution: University of Washington
Faculty Mentor: Michael Bruchas, Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

Corinna is a senior studying neuroscience at UW Seattle. She has been working in Dr. Bruchas’ lab studying mechanisms of opioid addiction at a circuit level. After graduating, Corinna plans to pursue a Ph.D. in neuroscience and further study neural molecular mechanisms of addiction. In her free time, Corinna enjoys watching sports and hanging out with her cat.


Fiona Seung

Fiona posing in front of the cameraInstitution: University of Washington
Faculty Mentor: Tonya Palermo, Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

Fiona is a senior at the University of Washington pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental (MCD) Biology. This summer, Fiona is working with Dr. Tonya Palermo studying pediatric pain management and its effects on children and their families. Specifically, the Palermo team utilizes cognitive-behavioral interventions to both treat pain and to reduce sleep problems. Fiona is excited to gain first-hand experience in clinical research in pediatric pain management. In her free time, Fiona enjoys oil painting and attending live concerts. After graduation, Fiona intends to pursue the Master of Science in Genetic Counseling program offered by the UW Department of Medicine.


Sofia Shirley

Sofia smiling for the cameraInstitution: University of Washington
Faculty Mentor: Michael Bruchas, Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

Sofia Shirley is a senior at the University of Washington majoring in biochemistry. She has been engaged in neuroscience research in the Bruchas laboratory studying the kappa opioid receptor. She is interested in improving our understanding of the molecular basis of pain and emotion and how we can use this knowledge to better treat patients with pain and mental illnesses. This summer, Sofia will be focusing her research in the Bruchas lab on neural circuits related to pain. After graduation, she plans on pursuing a Ph.D. in neuroscience. Outside of the lab, Sofia enjoys camping and hiking, as well as painting and photography.


Doris Yang

Doris smiling in front of the cameraInstitution: University of Washington
Faculty Mentor: Dawn Ehde, Rehabilitation Medicine

Doris is a senior at the University of Washington. She is studying general biology with a minor in diversity. For the past summer, she worked as a public heath coordinator in Ghana on a water sanitation project with Akufful Krodua community. This summer, Doris is working with Dr. Ehde on a research project which aims to compare effectiveness of several pain treatments for multiple sclerosis. She is excited to gain more experience with clinical research and have a better understanding of choric pain. In her free time, she enjoys hiking and watching Spanish films. In the future, Doris hopes to attend medical school and serve as a primary care doctor for communities that have been historically underserved.