Undergraduate Research Program

Pain Program Students

2019 Pain Program Students

Noelani Arreola-Anduha

Noelani Arreola-AnduhaInstitution: University of Washington, Seattle
Faculty Mentor: Mark Jensen, Rehabilitation Medicine

Noelani Arreola-Anduha is a rising senior at the University of Washington studying psychology. During her time in the Running Start program, she took multiple psychology classes that increased not only her knowledge but also her enthusiasm about the subject matter. She is currently interested in clinical psychology, behavioral neuroscience, and neuropsychopharmacology. After entering the University of Washington, she was accepted into the Psychology department and is currently exploring the different subsections of psychology. She has taken course work related to drugs and their influences on behavior. She plans to take abnormal psychology, clinical psychology, and a few other courses as well. These will help inform her decision on which topic she is most interested in, along with participation in conducting research. Over the course of this summer she will be working with Dr. Mark Jensen’s research team in Harborview Medical Center in the department of Rehabilitation Medicine to study how different therapies affect the outcomes of chronic low back pain. Noelani’s future goals consist of going to graduate school for psychology.


Lais Conceicao

Lais Conceicao Institution: University of Washington, Seattle
Faculty Mentor: Ajay Dhaka, Biological Structure

Lais is a rising senior at the University of Washington currently studying neuroscience and biochemistry. Previously, she worked as an undergraduate researcher in the de la Iglesia lab investigating the role of the sodium channel Nav1.1 in the suprachiasmatic nucleus using immunohistochemistry, western blotting, and in-situ hybridization. This summer Lais is joining the Dhaka lab to conduct research on a potentially novel analgesic using zebrafish as a model system. As a volunteer at the ROOTS Young Adult Shelter and a COPE health scholar at the Seattle Swedish Hospital, Lais has witnessed the widespread use and sometimes abuse of pain-killing drugs. She aims to use science and research to help improve the lives of patients and contribute to the understanding of many maladies, and plans to pursue a career that will achieve these goals. In her free time, Lais enjoys biking, drawing, and reading.


Pi Lovinger

Pi LovingerInstitution: University of Washington, Seattle
Faculty Mentor: Emily Law, Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

Pierce “Pi” Lovinger is a rising senior at the University of Washington, pursuing a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in neuroscience and a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in psychology. For the past two years, and continuing into the next academic year, he has worked on projects headed by Dr. Steve Perlmutter and Dr. Samira Moorjani that are developing and improving techniques for neurological recovery in spinal cord injuries by using rat models. Additionally, Pi studied cognitive factors associated with the acquisition of a foreign language. This summer, Pi will be working with Dr. Emily Law investigating how parental behaviors and parental health can contribute to the severity and associated disability of pediatric migraines. As a sufferer of chronic migraines himself, Pi hopes this project will help expand his understanding of his own condition, as well as, improve his talents as a researcher. In his rare spare time, Pi prefers to sleep, play video games, and write music. He hopes to attend graduate school and earn a Ph.D.


Luis Navarro

Luis NavarroInstitution: University of Washington, Seattle
Faculty Mentor: Sean Rundell, Rehabilitation Medicine

Luis is a rising Senior at the University of Washington majoring in Biochemistry. He is working with Dr. Sean Rundell this summer in the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine to understand how chronic pain impacts adults of older age. He is particularly interested on how does the impact of pain over time vary by race/ethnicity and socioeconomic status (SES). In his free time he likes to run, go outdoors, volunteer in the local community, and play and watch sports. In the future, he intends to seek a career in medicine and serve people from underserved and underrepresented communities.


Marium Raza

Institution: University of Washington,Seattle
Faculty Mentor: Dale Langford, Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

Marium is a rising junior at the University of Washington studying biochemistry and comparative history of ideas. For the past year, she worked in Dr. Sharona Gordon’s lab studying the polymodal pain receptor TRPV1. Along with research, she has a keen interest in healthcare equity, and volunteers with University District Street Medicine. Marium has also helped develop an app through the startup nonprofit Elixir. This summer, Marium is working with Dr. Dale Langford on a project which aims to study predictors for pain following biopsy. She is excited to gain more experience focusing on the clinical and data analysis side of pain research. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, watching classic films, and spending time with her family. In the future, Marium hopes to attend medical school and to continue to improve access to quality healthcare.


Naomi von Ruden

Institution: University of Washington, Seattle
Faculty Mentor: Kushang Patel, Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

Naomi von Ruden is a rising junior year at the University of Washington. She is studying Food Systems, Nutrition, and Health with a minor in Spanish. Naomi previously volunteered in the UW Medical Center Emergency Department and worked as a certified nursing assistant in a long-term care facility. She is interested in pursuing emergency, global health, or flight nursing. This summer, Naomi is working with Dr. Kushang Patel in the Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine as a Scan Design Innovations in Pain Research summer research intern. She will collaborate with Dr. Patel to assess pain, dementia, and disability in aging adults and investigate important factors contributing to caregiver strain to better understand how to mitigate caregiver burden. Naomi loves trail running, mountaineering, enjoys cooking and playing music in her free time. Naomi plans to attend nursing school after graduating from UW.


Katherine Slack

Institution: University of Washington, Seattle
Faculty Mentors: Tonya Palermo & Jennifer Rabbitts, Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

Katherine Slack is a rising junior at the University of Washington. Katherine is an intended psychology major and is currently taking pre-med classes. Outside of classes, Katherine has been doing research with Seattle Children’s Hospital for almost a year, working with studies focused on treating kids with chronic pain. Katherine is an escort volunteer Team Leader at the University of Washington Medical Center. Katherine loves all sports and games, so you can usually find Katherine running around the track or at the IMA. After undergrad, Katherine is hoping to attend medical school and hopefully become a pediatric physician.


Mingkang Zhou

Mingkang ZhouInstitution: University of Washington, Seattle
Faculty Mentor: Michael Bruchas, Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

Mingkang is a rising senior in the Honors Program at the University of Washington studying neuroscience and psychology. For the past year, Mingkang has been working with Dr. Bruchas to study the effect of stress on feeding behaviors in mice. During this summer, she continues to work in the Bruchas lab and will be studying the dopaminergic pathway from ventral tegmental area to the nucleus accumbens in the context of pain. She will be learning valuable methods like optogenetics. She wants to pursue a PhD in neuroscience, investigating how neural changes could affect behavior and cause potential disease. In her free time, she likes to read and hang out with her friends.