Lab Alumni

Jay Cheng

Jay Cheng, M.S. is the Research Program Coordinator for the Mahalingaiah Lab. He received the M.S. from the division of Graduate Medical Sciences at the Boston University School of Medicine and a research assistant in the Mahalingaiah Lab. His research work has led to the identification of underdiagnosed patients. His administrative responsibilities include managing the lab’s finances and writing IRB documents. Jay’s other research interests include the diagnostic aspects of PCOS and modeling longitudinal cardio-metabolic outcomes.

Completed Thesis: On Identifying Polycystic Ovary Syndrome in the Clinical Data Warehouse at Boston Medical Center (2017)

Anna Williams

Anna Williams, B.S., is a M.S. student at Boston University School of Medicine. She graduated from Bates College in May 2016 with a B.S. in English, having completed a senior honors English thesis, entitled “Empathy, Medicine, and the Novel.” Anna is now fulfilling the thesis component of her M.S. in Medical Sciences degree with the Mahalingaiah Lab as a research assistant. Her responsibilities primarily include patient recruitment for the lab’s Ovulation and Menstruation (OM) Study. Her interests lie in obstetric, gynecological, pediatric, and psychiatric medicine. Outside of her studies, Anna enjoys reading contemporary literature, skiing, and traveling.

Completed Thesis: Correlates of Completion Rate and Question Comprehension for a Multi-Ethnicity Online Study of Ovulation and Menstruation Health (2018)

Rashmi Madhavan

Rashmi Madhavan is currently a student in the M.S. in Medical Sciences program at Boston University School of Medicine. She graduated from Emory University in 2015, earning her B.S. degree with the completion of an anthropology and human biology major and a women’s, gender, and sexuality studies minor. Her academic background combined with her interest in pursuing medicine drew her to issues of reproductive health and reproductive justice, and encouraged her to pursue experiences with women’s health centers and organizations for sexual violence prevention. She is now completing her master’s thesis under the supervision of the Mahalingaiah lab, working in conjunction with endocrinology fellow Dr. Hannah Mathew on the development of a group care model for the management of PCOS. Outside of academics, Rashmi enjoys dancing, traveling, and reading.

Completed Thesis: Prevalence of PCOS Diagnoses Among Women With Menstruation Irregularity in a Diverse Multiethnic Cohort (2018)

MyMy Nguyen

MyMy Nguyen is currently a student in the M.S. in Medical Sciences at Boston University School of Medicine. In June 2015, she graduated from UC Davis with a double degree in Neurobiology, Physiology, Behavior (B.S.) and Psychology (B.A.). Due to the negative stigma against reproductive health in Asian cultures, she has dedicated much of her undergraduate career working with underserved Asian communities in Sacramento, CA to reduce the rates of cervical cancer. Her strong interest in reproductive health leads her to encourage women to be proactive with themselves. Currently, she works as a research assistant with Dr. Mahalingaiah, focusing on creating a larger and multi-ethnic PCOS cohort through the Ovulation and Menstruation Health Study.

Completed Thesis: Menstrual Tracking Applications in Women’s Health Studies (2018)

Meghan Hewlett

Meghan Hewlett, M.S., M.P.H. is a medical student and research assistant at Boston University School of Medicine and Boston Medical Center. She earned her B.S. in Neuroscience at the University of Michigan, and received her masters degrees from Boston University School of Medicine and Boston University School of Public Health. Meghan’s research work with Dr. Mahalingaiah involves environmental toxicants and their etiological contribution to the development of gynecological disease, particularly polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Her interests also include the influence of gynecological disease on the pathogenesis of chronic illnesses such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes mellitus. Through her research, she aims to better understand this relationship and its role in the increasing prevalence of chronic disease among women, especially among those who are medically underserved. Despite being a native Midwesterner, Meghan loves living in Boston and enjoys hiking and camping all over the Northeast. Outside of her research and medical studies, she also enjoys running and photography.

Completed Thesis: Prenatal Exposure to Endocrine Disruptors: A Developmental Etiology for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (2015)

Erika Chow

Erika Chow

Erika Chow, M.S. is a research assistant at Boston University School of Medicine and Boston Medical Center.  Her alma mater was Columbia University, and she received her masters from Boston University School of Medicine.  She is currently working with Dr. Shruthi Mahalingaiah on the effect of environmental pollutants on reproduction and fertility.  She became interested in the effect of environmental pollutants after reading Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring.  She is also particularly interested in the declining birth rate in first world countries due to an increasing number of women choosing to focus on careers rather than having a family.  This topic is particularly important to her because the obstetric hospitals of her native country, Taiwan, have been slowly shutting down due to a decline in births.

She is also a research assistant and phlebotomy technician for Dr. Antonella Lavelanet in the Family Planning Department of Boston Medical Center, working on a pharmacokinetics study of the contraceptive patch.  Lastly, she is working with Dr. Margaret Bauman in the Neurobiology and Anatomy Department of Boston University School of Medicine on a rat model study investigating the dispersion and binding affinity of dopamine receptors in individuals with sensory processing disorder versus healthy controls.  Erika is culturally a mix of Northern California, New York, and Taipei.  In her spare time, she loves books, photography, UFC, and cooking.

Completed Thesis: The Longitudinal Impact of Parent Distress and Behavior on Psychological and Functional Disability Outcomes Among Youth With Chronic Pain (2015)

Samantha Gaines

Samantha Gaines is a summer student currently earning a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Middlebury College in Middlebury, VT. As a Research Assistant in the Mahalingaiah lab, Samantha is investigating the effects of pollution on female reproduction and infertility. She is specifically interested in the endocrinological changes that occur with gynecological disease, especially polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Samantha is looking forward to applying to medical schools in the near future, and hopes that the knowledge and skills gained from the lab bring her unique insight. In her spare time, she enjoys cycling, reading, and spending time outside.