Cohort 2

Desiree Mims

A biology major who was interested in obtaining her Ph.D. in molecular biology and immunology, Desiree Mims transferred to Brooklyn College in 1999 after obtaining her associate's degree at New York City Technical College. She was a MARC scholar from that time until 2001. While in the MARC program, she worked with Associate Professor Charlene Forest, whose research involves trying to isolate the gene that controls gamete fusion in Chlamydomonas. Desiree received a travel award from the National Minority Research Symposium and presented a poster at that meeting entitled: "The Effect of Cysteine Mutations on the Production of a-Agglutin, Yeast Adhesion Protein," based on her research with Dr. Peter Lipke of Hunter College (CUNY), with whom she did a summer externship as part of the Leadership Alliance Early Identification Program. She also presented this poster at the 2000 National Minority Research Symposium in Washington, D.C. She presented posters about her research with Forest ("Cloning a Gametic Fusion-Associate Gene in Chlyamydomias by Genomic Complementation") at two local college research meetings. Desiree also worked with Professor Jennifer Basil in the Biology Department, doing research on the role of chemosensation and vision in Nautilus orientation behavior. Desiree graduated in 2001.She is currently enrolled at Hunter Collge in an M.P.H. program.

Nasiha Ocasio

A MARC scholar between 1999 and 2001, Nasiha Ocasio graduated with a B.S. in biology in September 2001. At Brooklyn College,  Nasiha worked with Distinguished Professor Martin Schreibman at the Aquatic Research and Environmental Assessment Center. Based on this work, Nasiha presented posters at Research Day at Brooklyn College ("An Investigation of Easter Island Fish") and at the 2000 National Minority Research Symposium ("The Effects of Chemical Pollutants on the Reproductive Physiology of Fishes"). At the NMRS meeting, for which she won a travel award, she was a moderator for Dr. David F. Smith, who was a symposium speaker. Nasiha did her summer 2000 externship at the University of Puerto Rico Institute of Neurobiology, working with Dr. Mark W. Miller. She was a member of the NIH-funded PREP program at Mt. Sinai Medical School, where she eventually entered a Ph.D. program in neuroscience starting in fall 2002. She spent four years there studying the feeding behavior of marine gastropod Aplysia. Nashia is now a New York City Teaching Fellows and teaches Living Environment at the New York Harbor School.

Adeyinka Odoffin

A MARC scholar from 1999 through her graduation in 2001, Adeyinka Odoffin is interested in obtaining an M.D./Ph.D. degree and is fascinated by the fields of cell and molecular biology and genetics. At Brooklyn College, Adeyinka worked with Professor He Qi in the Biology Department, where they studied the development of the visual system of A Drosophila. Adeyinka was a Leadership Alliance Early Identification Program summer intern with Dr. Allen Bale, director of the DNA Diagnostic Lab in the Department of Genetics at the Yale University School of Medicine. She presented posters at both the Leadership Alliance meeting in Chantilly, Va. ("Characterization of A Drosophila Axon Guidance Protein DN-Wasp") and the National Minority Research Symposium in Washington, D.C. ("Characterization of A Drosophila Axon Guidance Protein DN-Wasp"). At the 2000 Leadership Alliance summer symposium, she gave an oral presentation, "Phenotypic Expression of BRCA1 Gene in Transgenic Drosophila Melanogaster," based on her research with Bale. Adeyinka also received an award for her poster presentation at Brooklyn College Research Day. She received a travel award from the National Minority Research Symposium for her work, and she was a moderator for one of the speakers at the symposium. She won several college scholarships at her graduation with a B.S. in biology.

Edison Ruiz

A biology major from 1999 to 2001, Edison Ruiz worked with Professor Malgorzata Ciszkowska of the Chemistry Department doing research on polymeric gels. Edison transferred to Brooklyn College  from LaGuardia Community College, where he did research on physio-chemistry as an NSF-AMP scholar in chemistry under the direction of Dr. Jaime Niemann. Based on this work, he presented a poster ("Studies of Laser Induced Mass Spectrophotometry of Fullerenes") at a 1999 CUNY-AMP conference. Connected with his work with Ciszkowska, he presented a paper ("Transport Properties of Temperature Sensitive Polymeric Gels Swollen by Organic Solvents") at the 2000 annual meeting of the Electrochemical Society. He also presented this poster at the 2000 National Minority Research Symposium, for which he received an NMRS travel award.  Edison also made poster presentations at the Graduate Center of CUNY, Research Day at Brooklyn College, and the 2000 Leadership Alliance student symposium ("Monitoring the Adenovirus Infection Kinetics of a Gene Therapy Manufacturing Process Using "Living Color"), based on work done at Schering Plough Research Institute under the direction of Senior Scientist Dr. Russ Condon. The Schering Plough internship was under the auspices of the Leadership Alliance Early Identification Program. Edison graduated with a B.S. in biology and entered a master's program in public health at Brooklyn College, and in 2010 he received his M.P.H. He currently is a faculty member at SUNY Downstate Medical Center.