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Rami M

- Research Program Mentor

PhD candidate at University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill (UNC Chapel Hill)

Expertise

Genetics, genome editing, molecular biology, neuroscience, bioethics, science policy, genetics in human health/medicine

Bio

I am interested in the intersection of science with many other areas of life: advocacy, ethics, policy, communication, and outreach. To best work at these intersections, I believe that a deep knowledge of science is incredibly helpful. This led me to pursue my PhD in Genetics and Molecular Biology. My current research interests involve using CRISPR Cas9/gene editing to treat rare genetic brain diseases and examining some of the ethical questions that arise when contemplating the use of gene editing in humans. Although research takes up most of my time, I am involved with a variety of science outreach, communication, and policy initiatives, and passionately believe that science should be for everyone. I love when students have their "lightbulb" moments!

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.

Exploring the potential for gene editing therapeutics in neurogenetic diseases

In this project, you would learn about various neurogenetic diseases, gene editing therapeutics, and current advancements in these fields. You will also learn how to critically analyze scientific papers. This would culminate in a review of the topic that could be submitted for publication to a scientific journal like the International Journal of High School Research.

Considering the ethics of gene editing: where we are and where it could go

If you've watched the movie GATTACA or read Brave New World, you've seen science fiction at work depicting alarming societies where gene editing controls social hierarchies and both physical and social outcomes. As CRISPR and other gene editing technologies become more commonplace, is this the world we are destined to create? Where should the line be drawn, and who should draw it? In this project, you will explore real-world gene editing cases and the ethical questions that could arise from their implementation. This could be presented in a series of blog posts, podcast episodes, or as a single speech.

Teaching experience

1) I have experience teaching science classes to high schoolers on special topics like vaccines and gene editing. I have been a TA for a graduate level genetics class and a STEM-specific professional development class that I created for undergraduate students. 2) I have mentored Master's students, PhD students, undergraduates, and high schoolers in areas including professional development, research, wellness, college preparation, and PhD readiness.

Credentials

Education

Clemson University
BS Bachelor of Science (2019)
Genetics
University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill (UNC Chapel Hill)
PhD Doctor of Philosophy candidate
Genetics and Molecular Biology

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