October 18th, 2019

Genes in Space Finalists: Where are they now? (Part 1)

Since 2015, more than 5000 students have touched our program by contributing their ideas to the advancement of space biology. Of those, 52 Finalists have presented their ideas for a chance to launch their science to the ISS. Year over year, our Finalists' presentations stand as a testament to their phenomenal potential and leave us convinced they will leave their mark on the world.

We checked in with 18 past Finalists to see what they've been up to since Genes in Space. From software development to nursing to photojournalism, they are pursuing a wide range of interests. Yet they share one thing in common: all are chasing their passions. 

In part 1 of this feature, we catch up with nine Finalists from our 2015 and 2016 U.S. competition. Part 2 will focus on Finalists from our 2017 and 2018 U.S. competitions, as well as our 2017 UAE contest.

U.S. Class of 2015

Jonathan Chang 2015

Jonathan Chang, Finalist from Sammamish, WA (with teammate Thiago Bandeira)

What are you up to now? I am a senior at Tufts University double majoring in computer science and mechanical engineering. Right now, I'm deep into recruiting season and looking at the software and defense/space industry.  

What are your plans for the future? I am currently interning at Draper Labs (responsible for the Apollo guidance system) in Cambridge, MA working on navigation algorithms and considering a return there for a full-time position.

Jon Hamilton 2015

Jon Hamilton, Finalist from Braintree, MA (with teammates Jaclyn Shuttleworth and Sarah Golden)

What are you up to now? I've been at Harvard College since graduating high school, studying Environmental Science and Public Policy. 

What are your plans for the future? Post-graduation, I hope to receive a fellowship to work for a conservation/environmental non-governmental organization (NGO) in a biodiversity hotspot, helping to reconcile the needs of both the ecosystems and the communities living there.

Jaclyn Shuttleworth

Jaclyn Shuttleworth, Finalist from Braintree, MA (with teammates Jon Hamilton and Sarah Golden)

What are you up to now? After graduating high school, I went on to pursue my undergraduate education at Stonehill College in Easton, MA as a B.S. Biology major. I will be graduating in May 2020. 

What are your plans for the future? I am currently applying to accelerated nursing programs in the Boston area in order to acquire my Bachelor's of Science in nursing. I plan to work as a nurse for a few years before going on to obtain my Master's of Science in nursing in order to practice as a nurse practitioner in what would ideally be a public health setting.

Anna-Sophia Boguraev 2019

Anna-Sophia Boguraev, Winner from Bedford, NY

What are you up to now? As a now-senior at Yale, I've spent the last few years in labs all over the country, including at NASA Ames Research Center. I'm currently working on finishing up my Bachelor's in English and Master's in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry.

What are your plans for the future? Right now I'm interviewing for MD/PhD programs where I hope to continue studying principles of human health on Earth and in space.

U.S. Class of 2016

Dylan Barcelos 2016

Dylan Barcelos, Finalist from Fall River, MA (with teammates Kylie Cooper and Mason Frizado)

What are you up to now? I am currently a sophomore at the University of Massachusetts Amherst majoring in biochemistry and molecular biology. 

What are your plans for the future? I plan on becoming a researcher in the field of cell biology to investigate the mechanisms of cell division.

Kylie Cooper 2016

Kylie Cooper, Finalist from Fall River, MA (with teammates Dylan Barcelos and Mason Frizado)

What are you up to now? I'm currently a sophomore transfer student at the University of Pennsylvania planning to major in Communication and minor in Fine Arts. 

What are your plans for the future? After college, I aim to become a travel photojournalist to document the inspiring cultures and stories of our world.

Amy Gu 2016

Amy Gu, Finalist from Cambridge, MA (with teammate Maria Chabelis Byamana)

What are you up to now? I've been having a great experience studying computer science and singing in chorus and a cappella at Harvard. 

What are your plans for the future? Starting next fall, I will be working as a full-time software engineer in Facebook's New York office.

Finsam Samson 2016

Finsam Samson, Finalist from Troy, MI

What are you up to now? Currently, I am a freshman at the University of Michigan, This summer, I won Genes in Space 2019 and am preparing my experiment for launch.

What are your plans for the future? I intend to study Biomedical Engineering and pursue medical school. 

Julian Rubinfien 2016

Julian Rubinfien, Winner from New York, NY

What are you up to now? Since graduating high school, I've worked at NASA's Johnson Space Center, spent several months in China interning in an immunology lab at Tsinghua University, and started college at Yale, where I'm currently working on computational proteomics research. 

What are your plans for the future? I'm hoping to continue with academic research after college, but I plan on staying closely involved with space science and NASA.

Posted in Finalists, Winners.