Rebecca L. Clements, PhD

Principle Investigator

As a graduate student in Dr. Jeffrey Dvorin’s lab at Harvard, Rebecca aimed to investigate the unusual cell biology of Plasmodium falciparum, the parasite that causes malaria. Rebecca discovered and characterized a protein that orchestrates cytoskeletal remodeling and is required for survival during gametocyte maturation. Her thesis work revealed non-canonical eukaryotic cell biology and shed light on molecular targets for the development of antimalarial drugs.

Her graduate work with P. falciparum parasites – which replicate inside of human red blood cells – sparked her interest in host-pathogen interactions in this unique cellular niche. She became fascinated with the interplay between erythroid biology, infection, and immunity, which motivated her to pursue postdoctoral training in Dr. Kellie Jurado’s lab at the University of Pennsylvania. Her postdoctoral research shed light on erythroid progenitors as unexpected orchestrators of fetal immune activity and revealed novel aspects of red blood cell biology.

In her spare time, Rebecca is an aerial dancer. She performs on a variety of circus apparatuses, but her favorite is silks. She has two adorable cats, Shadow and Parker.

Erica Stutz

Swarthmore ’24

Erica is a Computer Science and Economics double major and a Biology minor. She is a Captain on the Varsity Tennis Team, Career Fellow, President of 180 Degrees Consulting, and a TA for Machine Learning at Swarthmore. She has conducted research at several academic institutions including Harvard Medical School and the University of Southern California Information Sciences Institute. She is extremely passionate about increasing data transparency through data visualization and other computational methods, in hopes of improving patient care and advancing biomedical research. She aims to join a PhD program in Bioinformatics next year!

Justin Hohn

Swarthmore ’26

Justin is a Biology and Dance double major. Outside of Swarthmore, he has conducted research at NYU where he studied chromatin genomics in C. Elegans. He is passionate about biomedical research, and is particularly interested in genetics and immunological research. In the future, he plans on pursuing a PhD in immunology. Outside of academics, he is passionate about music and dance, specializing in modern/contemporary and ballet dance styles. He is a board member and teacher of the Ember Dance Company; a student run ballet and contemporary dance club on campus. He also has been playing violin for over 9 years! He is a member of the Swarthmore College Student Orchestra.

Will Trone

Swarthmore ’26

Will is a biology and math double major. Previously at the University of Chicago, he researched the Golgi apparatus in Saccharomyces cerevisiae in the Benjamin Glick Lab. He intends to pursue a PhD in molecular and cellular biology, and he is interested in exploring research niches that have implications on improving health outcomes. Outside of the classroom, he is a member of the varsity swimming team and plays cello in the Swarthmore College Orchestra. He is also co-President of Swarthmore Taiwanese Association.

Julia Stern

Swarthmore ’25

Julia is a Biology and Environmental Education double major. She is an on campus Student Wellness Educator, a barista at a local coffee shop, and volunteers at an after-school program at an elementary school in Chester, PA. She has conducted biomechanics research at U.C. Berkeley where she studied the hydrodynamics of organisms living at an intermediate Reynolds number. She is passionate about studying immunology so as to one day improve the lives of people who suffer from immune disorders and deficiencies. Additionally, Julia is passionate about the expansion of the medical and scientific field of women’s health. After graduation, she plans to pursue a Masters in Education and a PHD in Cell Biology.

Ava Chon

Swarthmore ’26

Ava is an Economics major and a Biology minor. She is passionate about public health and health care policy. In the past, she has interned at the Florida Health Justice Project, a nonprofit whose mission is to make healthcare more equitable for Floridians. Ava has also conducted research on the effect of clinical data on insurance company coverage rates. Additionally, she has worked as a research assistant in Swarthmore’s Sociology Department and currently volunteers at a hospice facility. At Swarthmore, she is a member of the Varsity Golf Team and Co-President of the Global Surgery Club. In the future, she hopes to attend medical school.