Ryan Afreen

Ryan Afreen

As a FGLI student, navigating different research areas and interests felt very overwhelming. I initially committed myself to wet-lab research, exploring genes responsible for stopping the replication of retroviruses, such as HIV, at Rockefeller University. At Penn, however, I learnt that research is multifaceted and I can engage in research projects that I am more passionate about, whether it be clinically focused or molecular bases underlying neurological diseases. Penn gave me the space to explore my research interests and eventually take on independent research projects under the mentorship of dedicated scientists and physicians. I am currently pursuing my thesis project on Neurological Sciences.

Research Positions:

  • Clinical Research Assistant at Perelman School of Medicine under the mentorship of Dr. Sarita Sonalkar
  • Clinical Research Assistant at the Department of Bioethics and Health Policy under the mentorship of Moira Kweluk
  • Independent Researcher under the mentorship of Dr. Nahreen Ahmed at Perelman School of Medicine, Research Assistant at Zukerman Institute of Neuroscience at Columbia University
  • Research Assistant at Dani Lab of Neurological Sciences, Research Assistant at  Bieniasz Lab at Rockefeller University 

Awards: Lauder College Champion of Inquiry Award for research initiatives, Hassenfeld Social Impact Research Grant, VPUL Research Grant, Wharton Passion Project Grant

Groups: P1P  ( Penn First Plus) student advisory board, Penn FIRST, FGLI DAB ( Dean Advisory Board), GWE ( Global Woman Empowerment), PAACH


  • FGLI