Joussette Alvarado

Rising Junior, Loyola University

Joussette Alvarado is a rising junior at Loyola University in New Orleans. Currently, she is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Biology. This summer, she is doing research under the mentorship of Dr. Jovanny Zabaleta in the Stanley S. Scott Cancer Center at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center (LSUHSC). Specifically, Joussette is working on differential gene expression in ancestry of Hispanic/Latina women with Luminal B breast cancer. Ultimately, Joussette would like to attend medical school and focus on clinical research to aid medically underserved populations.

Mentor: Dr. Jovanny Zabaleta 











 Jonte Ellison

Medical Student, Louisiana State University, School of Medicine 

Jonté Ellison was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. She received a Bachelor of Science in Biological Engineering from Louisiana State University in 2015. She is currently a medical student at LSUHSC School of Medicine New Orleans. Currently, she is doing research with Dr. Michael Hagensee in the Louisiana Cancer Research Consortium. Jonté is studying the relationship between Human Papillomavirus (HPV), Epstein Barr Virus (EBV), and pre-cancerous anal dysplasia in HIV+ individuals. Jonté plans to graduate in 2021 and pursue a residency close to home.

Mentor: Dr. Mike Hagansee










Charity Sylvester

Medical Student, Louisiana State University, School of Medicine 

Charity is a second year medical student at Louisiana State University School of Medicine in New Orleans, LA. She obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Xavier University of Louisiana in 2016. Her summer research project under the mentorship of Dr. Arnold Zea focuses on the anti-tumor effect of IFN-y and T cell function on Renal Cell Carcinoma. Renal Cell Carcinoma (RCC) is a cancer that is hard to treat because of its evasive nature and its resistance to chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and immunotherapy. Understanding the mechanisms by which RCC tumors grow, can help to develop new and more effective immune-therapeutic strategies to overcome RCC resistance. After the summer, she plans to continue this research project as a part of the Medical Student Honors Program.

Mentor: Dr. Arnold Zea 







Lakia Williams 

Rising Sophomore, Tulane University

Lakia is a sophomore at Tulane University studying Neuroscience. She is currently conducting research in Dr. Jennifer Cameron’s Laboratory at the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center (LSUHSC) on Human Papillomavirus (HPV) and cervical cancer. Lakia aspires to pursue a MS in Bioinformatics before matriculating into a MD/PhD that will give her the education to work as a gynecologic oncologist researcher. Lakia is involved on campus at Tulane as a Justice for the Undergraduate Student Government (USG), the Health and Wellness Ambassador for Newcomb Senate, Treasurer for Minority Association of Pre-Medical Students, and Secretary of Students United for Reproductive Justice. She also participates in community outreach in New Orleans.

Mentor: Dr. Jennifer Cameron