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Riasat Z

- Research Program Mentor

PhD candidate at Cornell University


Molecular Biology, Cell Biology, Biochemistry, Genetics, Graphic Design


Hello, my name is Riasat and I am currently a graduate student at Cornell University, obtaining a PhD in Cell and Molecular Biology. I have always been engaging with students of all ages to get a deeper understanding of STEM topics. This has partly fueled my interested in pursuing research from a freshman at Rutgers University, to now as a fourth year PhD graduate student at Cornell. As a long-time side hobby, I am also interested in graphic design, and using programs like Adobe Illustrator to design and articulate scientific ideas. Through these means, I hope to make science to a broader audience outside of scientific community

Project ideas

Project ideas are meant to help inspire student thinking about their own project. Students are in the driver seat of their research and are free to use any or none of the ideas shared by their mentors.

Dissecting Scientific Data & Literature: Learning how to critically analyze a science paper

Often times, we are bombarded with scientific statistics and data about various health and disease topics. How can we train ourselves to filter what is good information and bad information? In this project, we will read and analyze scientific literature from prestigious scientific journals such as Science, Nature or Cell and break down how to read, analyze and question the author's findings. Based on the students interests, we will choose a paper to dissect, prepare a digestable summary with proposed follow-up ideas or experiments.

Communicating scientific ideas visually: an Adobe Illustrator Workshop

Students will get an introductory tutorial on how to create and edit scientific images and will then get a chance to design their own piece of scientific art, based on an interest of their choosing. Basic familiarity with Adobe Illustrator is recommended but not required.

Languages I know


Teaching experience

In undergrad, I planned and facilitated seminar discussions on selected research topics for peer groups of 9 student research assistants. In graduate school, I was a teaching assistant for Introductory Cell Biology and was responsible for teaching weekly interactive recitation sections for various cell biology topics. Additionally, I was asked to be a guest lecturer for a first-year graduate course in which I designed and taught a 2-hour workshop on how to use Adobe Illustrator for making high quality scientific figures and schematics.



Rutgers University
BA Bachelor of Arts (2016)
Arts and Sciences
Cornell University
PhD Doctor of Philosophy candidate
Agricultural and Life Sciences

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