Agnieszka is an associate researcher in Dr. Goukassian’s lab. She graduated with a BA in molecular biology and minor in computer science from Skidmore College in 2017. During her undergraduate career, she was involved in several research studies. Her initial research background involves studying the effects of skeleton photoperiods on circadian rhythms in an Alzheimer’s drosophila model. She later transitioned to work on developing 4-D confocal analysis to assess axon dynamics in zebrafish models of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder and developing methods to assess function and role of endocannabinoid signaling in zebrafish nervous system development. Agnieszka also developed a transgenic line of zebrafish for Cre mediated expression of calcium transporter GCAMP6f in neurons derived from radial glial progenitors post spinal cord injury in order to assess whether these neurons integrate into functional neuronal circuits.
After completing her undergraduate career, Agnieszka has worked as a medical scribe for Mount Sinai West Cardiology with Dr. Jeffrey Bander and his partners where she ran the scribe program to facilitate providers with several elements of charting and patient care. During her time outside of the lab, Agnieszka continues to participate as a scribe for inpatient cardiology at Mount Sinai East. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Agnieszka remained involved in coordinating and running the satellite site convalescent plasma donation program alongside Dr. Bander and his team. Agnieszka will continue to take a primary role in COVID-19 antibody database management and the use of data mining to assess potential attributes which may make patients candidates for plasma donation. This project ultimately resulted in the development of hyperimmune globulin products with Immunotek under Operation Warp Speed. Her involvement during the pandemic continued to extend into providing and optimizing care for hospitalized patients. This work has extended to further assessing underlying causes of disease morbidity and mortality and other collaborative efforts. Additionally, Agnieszka wrote a review on the clinical implications of SARS-CoV2 with the renin-angiotensin system in order to better assess the risk/benefits of the use of RAS inhibitors in cardiovascular patients with COVID-19.
In our lab, Agnieszka works on various aspects of NASA Human Research Program and Translational Research Institute for Space Health-funded projects as a lead scientist. Agnieszka hopes to integrate her passion for research and medicine by pursuing an MD Ph.D. in the near future. Outside of research and clinical work, Agnieszka greatly enjoys hiking, studying Japanese, and playing with her dog Lulu.
Abrisham is a master’s student in the Biomedical Sciences (MSBS) program. Under the mentorship of Dr. David Goukassian, she is currently completing her thesis on a NASA-funded project looking at the effects of low dose ionizing radiation on cardiovascular disease risk, its quantification, and underlying molecular mechanisms. She obtained her bachelor’s in Chemistry from the University of Pittsburgh along with a minor in Political Science. In her undergraduate research career, under the direction of Dr. Daniel Lambrecht, she took a computational approach to assess the structure-spectra relation of glutamine peptides (indicated in the pathogenesis of many neurodegenerative diseases) and their Raman spectra by conducting molecular dynamics simulations. Following clinical cardiology experience at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, she joined Dr. Goukassian’s lab at the Cardiovascular Research Institute. Outside her work in the lab and classroom, she volunteers with EHHOP, the student-run free clinic at ISMMS, and serves as a THAW Peer mentor, and a student ambassador. In her free time, Abrisham loves to travel, hike, cycle, cook, read, and spend time with her loved ones.
Nathaniel Saffran is a medical student at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Under David Goukassian’s mentorship, he is working on a NASA-funded project to explore the effects of low-dose ionizing radiation on cardiovascular disease. He obtained his Bachelor’s in Biology from Columbia University in 2020. His undergraduate research focused on the immunology of transplantation and the JAK-STAT pathway. He joined the lab in February of 2021. Outside of research, Nathaniel is part of the Mount Sinai Harm Reduction Club and leader of the Aerospace Medicine Interest group. In his free time, he enjoys reading, playing softball, and traveling.
Elliot Wolf is an undergraduate biology major in the class of 2023 at Williams College, planning to pursue a career in the medical field. He grew up in Brooklyn, NY, and graduated from Hunter College High School in 2019. As a freshman at Williams, he worked as a research assistant in a neuropsychology lab studying the neurodegenerative effects of head trauma. He joined the Goukassian lab as a research intern in the summer of 2020, where he assisted in sample analysis and data collection for a NASA-funded project exploring the effects of low-dose ionizing radiation on cardiovascular disease. He is currently assisting with clinical research in the Division of Cardiac Electrophysiology at Lenox Hill Hospital. In his free time, Elliot enjoys visiting new places, improving his culinary skills, listening to music, and spending time with his friends.