2024 Knight Campus Undergraduate Scholars

Meet the 2024 Knight Campus Undergraduate Scholars

The Knight Campus Undergraduate Scholars Program pairs promising undergraduates with research mentors — graduate students, postdocs, and faculty members — immersing them in a 12-month, comprehensive research experience in Knight Campus-affiliated labs.

These young scientists are taking on independent research projects in a diverse set of fields and connecting with mentors throughout the Knight Campus and across the UO. Read more below about this year's cohort of next generation leading researchers.

 

Start Your Scholar Journey

Apply today to become a scholar or to become a mentor.

Kaitlyn Augienello

Megan A and Thomas K Wuest Fund of Oregon Community Undergraduate Scholar 

Class: Junior
Major: Human Physiology
Minor: Psychology
Mentor: Hans Dreyer
Lab: Dreyer Lab

“The Knight Campus Undergraduate Scholars program is allowing me to continue in sharing my passion for research with others and have opportunities to further study this field that I otherwise would not have… It fills me with immense joy to know that my work has importance and is adding to the body of knowledge of researchers around the world.”

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Portrait of Kaitlyn Augienello
Scholar: Kaitlyn Augienello
Portrait of Hans Dreyer
Mentor: Hans Dreyer
Lucas Bambaren

Tom and Cathy Hui Undergraduate Scholar

Class: Junior
Major: Human Physiology 
Minor: Neuroscience
Mentor: Salil Karipott
Lab: Ong Lab

“The KCUS program is enabling me to undertake an independent research project, which is further developing my scientific curiosity and research skills, while contributing to the advancement of medical devices for the enhancement of orthopedic care.”

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Portrait of Lucas Bambaran
Scholar: Lucas Bambaran
salil sidharthan karipott
Mentor: Salil Karipott
Sophie Biegel

Tom and Cathy Hui Undergraduate Scholar

Class: Sophomore
Major: Neuroscience (Clark Honors College)
Minor: Chemistry and Global Health
Mentor: Phillip Hernandez
Lab: Benoit Lab

"The KCUS program is an invaluable opportunity, by not only offering the chance to conduct research in an area I am passionate about, but also by facilitating professional development through cohort activities. Working in a Knight Campus-affiliated lab is exciting as I play a role in research with profound implications, ultimately geared towards improving lives and contributing positively to the world."

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Portrait of Sophie Biegel
Scholar: Sophie Biegel
Portrait of Philip Hernandez
Mentor: Philip Hernandez
Brock Cottle

Seeyan Lam Undergraduate Scholar 

Class: Junior
Major: Biology
Minors: Bioengineering and Chemistry
Mentor: Tim Wheeler
Lab: Lindberg Lab

"The KCUS program is beneficial to my undergraduate goals as it is providing a unique opportunity to immerse myself in the research I am most interested in. The most rewarding part of science is being able to apply my knowledge to a practical setting. With this program, I am applying my passions for biology and engineering to the future of medicine… It is a great privilege to start my bioengineering career at the state-of-the-art Knight Campus."

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Brock Cottle
Scholar: Brock Cottle
A man standing outside
Mentor: Tim Wheeler
Camilla Der

Clark Honors College Undergraduate Scholar

Class: Junior
Major: Biology (Clark Honors College)
Minor: Bioengineering
Mentor: Kaylee Meyers
Lab: Ong Lab

"Learning and growing in the Ong Lab is supporting me in pursuing my academic and career goals after college. The KCUS program is allowing me to continue my research and prepare me for postgraduate work through the year-long independent project. Learning how to navigate my own independent research is helping me develop valuable skills that will carry on into my future career…. I feel excited and hopeful when thinking about the field because I know it is a place where I can make a difference and help others improve their health and well-being."

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Camilla Der
Scholar: Camilla Der
A person
Mentor: Kaylee Meyers
Zach Elliot

Tom and Cathy Hui Undergraduate Scholar

Class: Junior
Major: Biology
Major: Chemistry
Mentor: Annie Zemper
Lab: Zemper Lab

"The KCUS program fits well with my goals…The KCUS program is a natural step in an ongoing effort to challenge myself and I see professional development and continued learning activities which are a part of this program as invaluable resources. It is an honor to be supported by this program."

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Zach Elliot
Scholar: Zach Elliot
Annie Zemper
Mentor: Annie Zemper
Liliana Escobedo

Thermo Fisher Undergraduate Scholar

Class: Sophomore
Major: Multidisciplinary Science (Clark Honors College)
Minors: Spanish, Chemistry, and Biology
Mentors: Sangeetha Ravi Kumar
Lab: Ambati Lab

"The KCUS program presents an opportunity to contribute to the underrepresented diversity in ophthalmological research, bringing a unique perspective to studying corneal disorders…Furthermore, this research opportunity empowers women in STEM to be a change in healthcare, contributing to inclusive, culturally competent advancements that benefit diverse populations through proactive research. It is an honor to expand my research in the KCUS program."

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Liliana Escobedo
Scholar: Liliana Escobedo
sangeetha
Mentor: Sangeetha Ravi Kumar
Madeleine Ford

Dr. Seeyan Lam Undergraduate Scholar

Class: Junior
Major: Human Physiology
Minor: Chemistry
Mentor: Justin Svendsen
Lab: Hettiaratchi Lab

"The hope of becoming a doctor originally motivated my undergraduate research, however, within a few weeks I fell in love with research, specifically bioengineering. I hope to pursue a PhD in bioengineering and eventually work in academia. Concurrently, I hope to get a nurse-midwife certificate. This mix will give me the opportunity to help people indirectly through research and directly through teaching and midwifery."

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Portrait of Madeleine Ford
Scholar: Madeleine Ford
A man standing outside
Mentor: Justin Svendsen
Esmee Fuller

Tom and Cathy Hui Undergraduate Scholar

Class: Sophomore
Major: Neuroscience (Clark Honors College)
Mentor: Nataliia Shchotkina
Lab: Lindberg Lab

"My goal is to help athletes like myself enhance their mental and physical well-being…The KCUS program marks the beginning of my journey into studying human performance, bringing me one step closer to my future aspirations."

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Default Profile Image
Scholar: Esmee Fuller
A woman named Nataliia
Mentor: Nataliia Shchotkina
Auveen Hajarizadeh

Bryan and Maureen Wolf Undergraduate Scholar

Class: Sophomore
Major: Human Physiology (Clark Honors College)
Minor: Chemistry
Mentor: Kylie Williams
Lab: Guldberg Lab

"As a member of KCUS, I am continuing to explore the field of orthopedics—which I hope to enter as a doctor one day—while also developing my personal research skills and passion…. My desire for working in our lab goes beyond my passion for regenerative rehabilitation for orthopedic injuries, because I know that it allows me to contribute meaningfully to the advancement of this emerging field while positively impacting the lives of individuals striving for recovery."

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Auveen Hajarizadeh
Scholar: Auveen Hajarizadeh
Kylie Williams
Mentor: Kylie Williams
Alayna Huque

Dr. Seeyan Lam Undergraduate Scholar

Class: Sophomore
Major: Human Physiology
Minor: Entrepreneurship
Mentor: Madeline Martin
Lab: Hettiaratchi Lab

"I’m a human physiology student who is planning to go to medical school to become a surgeon. I’m interested in studying how the body heals and changes during rehabilitation and how tissue regeneration could be impactful. I’m curious about technologies that can track one’s healing process and the ways one can quickly and efficiently implement changes to a patient’s rehabilitation plan that’s specific to their body. The Regenerative Rehabilitation and Human Performance area of research fits perfectly into what I want to study.” 

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Alayna Huque
Scholar: Alayna Huque
Madeline Martin
Mentor: Madeline Martin
Luca Lippert

Tom and Cathy Hui Undergraduate Scholar

Class: Sophomore
Major: Biochemistry and Biology (Clark Honors College)
Mentor: Calin Plesa
Lab: Plesa Lab

"Being a part of the KCUS program is further enhancing my engagement with the scientific community at the University of Oregon. Science is my vocation; that much I’m sure of. Although I’m at the very beginning of my journey as a scientist and researcher, I have a lot of passion and even more curiosity. Participating in KCUS is an amazing opportunity for me to learn from others and continue turning that passion into something tangible.” 

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Luca Lippert
Scholar: Luca Lippert
Calin Plesa
Mentor: Calin Plesa
Haley-Mae Lohf

Jody Miller and Kip Leonard Undergraduate Scholar

Class: Sophomore
Major: Neuroscience and Math
Mentor: Felix Deku
Lab: Deku Lab

"Within the framework of the KCUS program, I am expanding on and honing my skills and knowledge to further develop research in the field of neural engineering. I am committed to my association and contribution to the research at Knight Campus, while fostering connection with peers and other institutions to propel the progress of our research. Through active engagement, my goal is not only to contribute to the collective perspective of my peers, but also to foster an environmental dynamic of collaboration, where teaching and learning are reciprocal endeavors.”

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Haley-Mae Lohf
Scholar: Haley-Mae Lohf
Felix Deku
Mentor: Felix Deku
Oliver Mondloch Loreto

Clark Honors College Undergraduate Scholar

Class: Senior
Major: Biochemistry, Biology, and Data Science (Clark Honors College)
Minor: Bioengineering
Mentor: Calin Plesa
Lab: Plesa Lab

"KCUS enables highly motivated students to work on impactful research and make professional connections. KCUS is allowing me to work on a long-term project with great resources and expert mentorship. Supervision and mentorship in the Plesa Lab is providing me the essential missing link for me to complete an Honors College thesis with real impact.”

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Oliver Mondloch Loreto
Scholar: Oliver Mondloch Loreto
Calin Plesa
Mentor: Calin Plesa
Nikhar Ramlakhan

Thermo Fisher Scholar

Class: Junior
Major: Computer Science
Minor: Entrepreneurship
Mentor: Kaitlyn Werner
Lab: Berkman Lab

"Participating in the Knight Campus Undergraduate Scholars program is a natural progression of my interests and goals. The program's focus on immersive, year-long research experiences aligns precisely with my aspirations to deepen my understanding of the intersection between technology and medical research.”

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Nikhar Ramiakhan
Scholar: Nikhar Ramlakhan
Headshot of Kaitlyn Werner
Mentor: Kaitlyn Werner

 

 

Luke Rethwill

Thermo Fisher Scholar

Class: Junior
Major: Biochemistry
Mentor: John O’Hara-Smith
Lab: Grimes Lab

"My research interest is in Protein Engineering and Synthetic Biology. I am eager to conduct research to gain the skills necessary for long-term success in my field of study. I am ready to put in endless effort, learn new things, share my love of science with lab mates and adjust as needed.”

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Luke Rethwill
Scholar: Luke Rethwill
John O’Hara-Smith
Mentor: John O'Hara-Smith
Tanner Rozendal

Jody Miller and Kip Leonard Undergraduate Scholar

Class: Sophomore
Major: Neuroscience (Clark Honors College)
Minor: Chemistry and Business Administration
Mentor: Kevin Zumwalt
Lab: McCormick Lab

"The KCUS program is jumpstarting my research, providing me with not only the funding, but also the guidance and expertise required to pursue this project and address a pressing neurological disorder… Using faculty guidance and expertise, professional skills development, and my prior research experience, I am using this opportunity as a stepping-stone for my future research as an MD/PhD candidate.”

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Tanner Rozendal
Scholar: Tanner Rozendal
Kevin Zumwalt
Mentor: Kevin Zumwalt
Cinthia Valeria Muñiz Sanchez 

Dr. Seeyan Lam Undergraduatecholar

Class: Junior
Major: Neuroscience (Clark Honors College)
Minor: Chemistry
Mentor: Apoorva Karekal
Lab: Swann Lab

"Participating in the KCUS program is allowing me to enhance my abilities as a scientist, and physician in the future, and helping me make a meaningful impact on the lives of people affected by neurological disorders.”

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Cinthia Valeria Muñiz Sanchez
Scholar: Cinthia Valeria Muñiz Sanchez 
Apporva Karekai
Mentor: Apoorva Karekal
Georgia Van der Linden 

Tom and Cathy Hui Undergraduate Scholar

Class: Junior
Major: Neuroscience
Minor: Biomedical Engineering
Mentor: Kelly O’Neill
Lab: Dalton Lab

"There are so many things to engage with in the Dalton lab. Between novel 3D printing processes to even newer patented jet deflection techniques, the number of ways to reignite the engineer’s passion inside of me seem countless. I plan on using this passion to explore ways to change design parameters and materials in order to tailor design biomaterials for any nervous structure.”

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Georgia Van der Linden
Scholar: Georgia Van der Linden 
Kelly O'Neil
Mentor: Kelly O'Neill
Jack Woolf

Dr. Seeyan Lam Undergraduate Scholar 

Class: Junior
Major: Biology
Minor: Chemistry
Mentor: Scott Stewart
Lab: Stankunas Lab

“The KCUS program is committed to developing independent researchers that will go on to make significant contributions to their field. This scholarship is providing me with an opportunity to continue my transition from a closely mentored undergraduate into an independent researcher with my own project. In addition, the opportunity that the KCUS program provides to connect and build relationships with peers and mentors is vital to my development as a student, researcher, and ultimately in my pursuit of an MD-PhD.”

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Jack Woolf
Scholar: Jack Woolf
Default Profile Image
Mentor: Scott Stewart
Sarah Elizabeth Young

Tom and Cathy Hui UndergraduateScholar 

Class: Junior
Major: Biology (Clark Honors College)
Minor: Biochemistry and Food Studies
Mentor: Matt Hofmann
Lab: Lindberg Lab

“The KCUS program is helping me develop professionally, build connections in the research community, learn how to formally present research findings, and push me to learn new things - all of which are integral for future success in my career.”

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Sarah Elizabeth Young
Scholar: Sarah Elizabeth Young
Portrait of Matt Hofmann
Mentor: Matt Hofmann

Take the Next Step

The Knight Campus Undergraduate Scholars program is a comprehensive research experience designed to develop the next generation of leading researchers. The program immerses a cohort of students in a full year of research in a Knight Campus affiliated lab from January to December each year. Apply today to become a scholar or to become a mentor.