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Our Team

Ross Academic Research Society (RARS) is a student organization that promotes research and evidence-based medicine at Ross University School of Medicine. Executive Board members serve as RARS Blog editors. Contributors may be active or former RARS members, current RUSM students or alumni who are passionate about research in their field.

An immense thank you to Dr. Liris Benjamin, Dr. Priya Dattathreya, and Dr. Sean Reid for supporting the Ross Academic Research Society in all of its goals. 

Image by Nathan Dumlao

Opeoluwa Olukorede

Kristin Ezell

Editors Emeritus:
Bahareh Sharafi
Caitlyn Landewee
Kristin Ezell
Radhika Bassi
Shivani Patel
Negar Makhsous

Caroline Patel



Roshella Gomes

Vice President


Alisha Thomas


Laynet Cornelio


Event Coordinator

Tatiana Mengistu

Research Coordinator II

Samuel Kim

Article Editor, Website Coordinator


Get to know our team as they answer these questions!

1. What are your research interests?
2. If you could work with any researcher, from the past or in the present, who would you choose and why?
3. If you could research something non-medical, what would it be?
4. What is your favorite activity to do on a weekend you're not studying? What are some of your favorite things to do on island?

Caroline Patel

1. Being an immunologist by training, I really enjoy all things immune related,

but my real passion lies in autoimmunity and Type 1 Diabetes reversal research.

2. I’d work with Dr. Frederick Banting, a Canadian surgeon who, along with a colleague

and medical student, discovered insulin in 1921 at the University of Toronto. This led to

their winning the Nobel Prize and saving countless lives that would otherwise be lost to

Type 1 Diabetes. It also blows my mind that this happened only 101 years ago!

3. If I couldn’t be a doctor, I’d would have probably chosen to become an astrophysicist.

I’d love to study other solar systems and galaxies.

4. When I’m not studying or at the beach I enjoy painting and baking. Back home I’m also

known to frequent plant stores and record shops more than I probably should. On island,

I’m trying to learn how to surf!

Tatiana Mengistu

1. I find the mechanism behind gene editing fascinating. I worked in stroke

recovery project that introduced CRISPR to assess motor recovery mechanisms.

I worked on animal models but learning more diseases that can use this technique

in clinical trials sparked my interest even more. People  suffering from genetic conditions

like cystic fibrosis could benefit from this technology. It’s something I want to pursue in

my future career. 
2. I would choose Tom carmichael, my former PI. He is a physician and a scientist that

mentored me during my undergraduate years. He is efficient and a genius with amazing

work life balance. 
3. I would probably do research about unique cultures and languages. 
4. I like spending time with my friends and swimming. My favorite thing on the

island is having Oistins yummy fish and playing road tennis.

Samuel Kim

1. I am interested in metabolic syndrome and manageable behaviors that can

change the disease outcome. I did research in tobacco and vaping and how

it can cause hypertension. I am also interested in public health research and


2. I would choose to work with/shadow Dr Fauci. He is an incredible scientist and I

would just love to pick his brain on how he handles the immense pressure he faces.

Plus, I want to just absorb everything he knows!!

3. As a kid, I wanted to be a marine biologist, so I think I would choose to research

sea creatures and the impact we, as a human race have on them.

4. I love to float in the calm waters of Bados! I love to eat and explore as well!! If you ever need a guide, reach out :)

What are your interests in research?

Alisha Thomas

"From doing bench research to clinical trials, research has allowed me to pursue my interests,

learn something new, hone my problem solving skills and to challenge myself in new ways. It

gives me the opportunity to work in collaborative environments with like minded individuals

and to continue increasing our understanding of the world!"

Roshella Gomes

"My passion for research started during my undergraduate years where I completed my own

project within the realm of cancer research! During my gap years of applying to medical

school, I continued to assist with many projects that helped the state of Washington keep

track of the COVID-19 virus. I am excited to be serving on e-board and look forward to carrying

out all the exciting events we have planned this semester."


Laynet Cornelio 

"I love how research provides the opportunity for us to use our knowledge to tackle all kinds of

challenges. Research has taken me to many places and got to meet many incredible individuals.

I hope my passion for research can help fellow medical students be more exposed to research

opportunities as we move on to our clinical years."

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