About Us

The Neuroscience Majors’ Union (NMU) aims to represent the needs and interests of both prospective and declared Neuroscience majors and minors. The NMU provides unique social and academic opportunities that encourage the growth of the neuro community at Duke, adding a richer layer of experience to the major.

2021-2022 EXECUTIVE BOARD

President

Sophie Hurewitz, Trinity ’22
Email: sophie.hurewitz@duke.edu
Major(s): Neuroscience
Sophie is a senior from Washington, D.C. majoring in Neuroscience with a minor in Global Health and a certificate in Child Policy Research. She is a Baldwin Scholar, has worked in the Bergelson Lab studying language acquisition, is on a Bass Connections team helping to support the North Carolina Early Childhood Action Plan, worked as a researcher at Children and Screens: Institute of Digital Media and Child Development, and is currently an undergraduate trainee with NC-LEND. She hopes to become a pediatrician, loves to read, and enjoys spending time with friends and family.

Vice-President

Katherine Wang, Trinity ’23
Email: katherine.w.wang@duke.edu
Major(s): Neuroscience
Katherine is a junior from New York City majoring in neuroscience and minoring in linguistics and chemistry. She is a part of Dr. Liping Feng’s Lab studying the effect of PFAS on maternal health and fetal brain development. She is also a member of the Language, Music, and Dementia Bass Connections team under Dr. Edna Andrews. For fun, she enjoys figure skating, listening to audiobooks, and volunteering at the Duke Puppy Kindergarten.

Secretary/Treasurer

Krishna Sinha, Trinity ’22
Email: ks496@duke.edu
Major(s): Neuroscience
Krishna is a senior from the sunny state of Arizona, majoring in Neuroscience and minoring in Chemistry. At Duke, he is involved in neurobiology research in the laboratory of Dr. Anne West, where he is studying chromatin regulation of brain development. Outside of academics, he enjoys playing and listening to music, baking, and watching Netflix.

Publicity & Web Chair

Leslie Leal Palacios, Trinity ’22
Email: leslie.leal.palacios@duke.edu
Major(s): Neuroscience
Leslie is a senior from Houston, TX majoring in Neuroscience and minoring in Chemistry and Biology. She is part of the Peer Coaches Bass Connections team that is creating an anonymous textline for Duke students. For fun, she enjoys learning languages, painting, buying more succulents, and anything Disney-related!

Pratt Representative

Celina Zhou

Celina Zhou, Pratt ’22
Email: celina.zhou@duke.edu
Major(s): Biomedical Engineering, Neuroscience
Celina is a senior from East Brunswick, New Jersey, double majoring in Biomedical Engineering and Neuroscience. Her interests in neuroscience vary greatly, but she current works in the Grill Lab with Dr. Casey Steadman, studying the effects of spinal cord injury on sexual and bladder function in a rat contusion model. In her free time, she enjoys playing guitar, taking naps with her roommate’s dog, and also leads the women’s club volleyball team.

Upperclassman
Representative

Preston Bowman, Trinity ’23
Email: preston.bowman@duke.edu
Major(s): Neuroscience
Preston is a junior from Waco, Texas. He is majoring in neuroscience and minoring in Chinese language. He works in Dr. Eva Naumann’s lab doing whole-brain systems neuroscience. In his free time, he loves to play French horn, go for runs, and study languages. 

Upperclassman
Representative

Emily Da Cruz, Trinity ’23
Email: emily.da.cruz@duke.edu
Major(s): Neuroscience
Emily is a junior from East Hanover, New Jersey majoring in Neuroscience with minors in Chemistry and Spanish. She works in the Mikati Lab studying the genetic mutation associated with Alternating Hemiplegia of Childhood and its epileptic symptoms. In the future, Emily hopes to go to medical school and become a physician, possibly in the field of pediatric neurology. In her free time, she enjoys exercising, cooking, and spending times with her friends.

Underclassman
Representative

Soumya Bodavula, Trinity ’24
Email: soumya.bodavula@duke.edu
Major(s): Neuroscience
Soumya is a sophomore at Duke majoring in Neuroscience with minors in Computational Biology and Spanish Studies. She is interested in Alzheimer’s Disease research, and she currently works in the Disney Lab studying neuromodulators in the rhesus macaque. She also spends her time reading, working at Duke Gardens, and trying to take care of her expanding collection of plants.

Underclassman
Representative

Cordelia Hume, Trinity ’24
Email: cordelia.hume@duke.edu
Major(s): Neuroscience
Cordelia is a sophomore majoring in Neuroscience with a potential minor in Global Health. She is interested in neurodegenerative diseases and is a member of the Bass Connections Team Treating Alzheimer’s Disease with Genetic Therapy working in Dr. Chiba-Falek’s lab studying the molecular characterization of the APOE e4 genetic risk factor for Late Onset Alzheimer’s Disease. Her other passions include hiking, reading, knitting and all forms of crafts, cooking, and discovering new wacky food combinations.

Peer Mentoring
Co-President

Chloe Schaefgen, Trinity ’23
Email: chloe.schaefgen@duke.edu
Major(s): Neuroscience
Chloe is a junior from California majoring in Neuroscience and minoring in French and Economics. Her love for neuroscience has persisted since middle school, and now she is especially interested in the underlying neural mechanisms of emotions, memory, and neurodegenerative diseases. While her interests vary, she currently loves her work as a part of the Bohorquez Laboratory which focuses on studying the connection between the gut and the brain. Chloe loves to hike, bake, and explore Durham with friends and hopes to one day pursue a PhD and become a research scientist – maybe in France! 

Peer Mentoring
Co-President

RJ Shah, Trinity ’23
Email: rajit.shah@duke.edu
Major(s): Neuroscience
RJ is a junior from Houston, TX majoring in Neuroscience. He is interested in the intersections between medicine and policy and independently researches medical policy & cardiac electrophysiology off-campus for Dr. Jalal based in Sugar Land, TX. In his free time, he loves to play basketball and calls K-Ville his second home.

2020-2021 EXECUTIVE BOARD

President

Jason Zhang, Trinity ’21
Email: jason.h.zhang@duke.edu
Major(s): Neuroscience, Biology
Jason is a senior from Gainesville, Florida, majoring in Neuroscience and Biology with a minor in Religious Studies. He is interested in how neural and social factors influence emotion and personality and began studying emotion regulation and depression in the LaBar Lab here at Duke. He currently works in the Bilbo Lab, studying how the immune system interacts with the brain to influence social behavior related to autism spectrum disorders and mental health. To relax, he enjoys playing tennis, going for a stroll in the Duke Gardens, and reading.

Vice-President

Sophia Li, Trinity ’21
Email: sl474@duke.edu
Major(s): Neuroscience
Sophia is a senior from Acton, Massachusetts, majoring in Neuroscience and minoring in Photography. She works in the Woldorff Lab at the Duke Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, studying the neural bases of attention and memory using EEG. Outside of academics, she loves photography, hiking, and cooking.

Secretary

Krishna Sinha, Trinity ’22
Email: ks496@duke.edu
Major(s): Neuroscience
Krishna is a junior from the sunny state of Arizona, majoring in Neuroscience and minoring in Chemistry. At Duke, he is involved in neurobiology research at the Dzirasa lab, where he is studying microglial responses to stress. Outside of academics, he enjoys playing and listening to music, as well as baking.

Treasurer

Maia Clarkin, Trinity ’22
Email: maia.clarkin@duke.edu
Major(s): Neuroscience
Maia is a junior at Duke studying Neuroscience with a certificate in Innovation and Entrepreneurship. In her free time she likes to run, walk around the Duke gardens and spend time eating around Durham with friends. She’s interested in the intersection of technology and business, specifically biotech, pharmaceuticals and drug development, or healthcare.

Publicity & Web Chair

Katherine Wang, Trinity ’23
Email: katherine.w.wang@duke.edu
Major(s): Neuroscience
Katherine is a sophomore from New York City, majoring in neuroscience and minoring in biology and chemistry. She is interested in the underlying mechanisms of neurodegenerative disorders, and is a part of Dr. Audrey Dickey’s Lab as well as a member of the Language, Music, and Dementia Bass Connections team under Dr. Edna Andrews. For fun, she enjoys figure skating and volunteering at the Duke Puppy Kindergarten.

Pratt Representative

Celina Zhou

Celina Zhou, Pratt ’22
Email: celina.zhou@duke.edu
Major(s): Biomedical Engineering, Neuroscience
Celina is a junior from East Brunswick, New Jersey, double majoring in Biomedical Engineering and Neuroscience. Her interests in neuroscience vary greatly, but she current works in the Grill Lab with Dr. Casey Steadman, studying the effects of spinal cord injury on sexual and bladder function in a rat contusion model. In her free time, she enjoys playing guitar, taking naps with her roommate’s dog, and also leads the women’s club volleyball team.

Upperclassman
Representative

Devika Naphade

Devika Naphade, Trinity ’21
Email: devika.naphade@duke.edu
Major(s): Neuroscience, Linguistics
Devika is a senior from Fort Mill, South Carolina, majoring in Neuroscience and Linguistics with a minor in Asian and Middle Eastern Studies. She is a part of the Bass Connections Language-Music-Dementia team and works in Dr. Edna Andrews’ lab, studying the impact of musicianship and multilingualism on the onset of dementia. For fun, she enjoys learning new languages, gardening and reading. She also loves listening to music and eating ice cream.

Underclassman
Representative

Annika Agrawal, Trinity ’23
Email: annika.agrawal@duke.edu
Major(s): Neuroscience
Annika is a sophomore from Chicago, Illinois, majoring in Neuroscience and minoring in Biology, with a certificate in Policy Journalism and Media Studies. She works in the Disney lab, researching the role of neurotransmitters such as acetylcholine in the development of the primary visual cortex. This year, she is also part of a Bass Connections project team researching the effect of bad dreams on waking behavior. Outside of class you’ll usually find her rock climbing or kayaking, lounging in a hammock reading a book, or watching endless amounts of old movies with endless amounts of coffee.

Peer Mentoring
Co-President

Sophie Hurewitz, Trinity ’22
Email: sophie.hurewitz@duke.edu
Major(s): Neuroscience
Sophie is a junior from Washington, D.C. majoring in Neuroscience with a minor in Global Health and a certificate in Child Policy Research. She is a Baldwin Scholar, has worked in the Bergelson Lab studying language acquisition, is on a Bass Connections team helping to support the North Carolina Early Childhood Action Plan, and currently works as a researcher at Children and Screens: Institute of Digital Media and Child Development. She hopes to become a pediatrician, loves to read, and enjoys spending time with friends and family.

Peer Mentoring
Co-President

Priyanka Rao, Trinity ’22
Email: pr96@duke.edu
Major(s): Neuroscience
Priyanka loves learning about the behavioral aspects of neuroscience. Cognitive Neuroscience was one of her favorite classes at Duke and really influenced her future interests! Outside of Neuroscience, she loves filming and editing and wants to get the Documentary Studies certificate. She loves being able to have a space where she can be free and creative. This dichotomy between Neuroscience and Documentary Studies has really influenced her future goals and interests!