The Division of Science Congratulates The Class of 2020

May 27, 2020

The Division of Science congratulates the Class of 2020! This year's cohort have proven to be an exceptional group of scientists - evident in the wide variety of exciting and innovative Capstone projects that were on display at this year's online festival. Not only that, but they have shown remarkable tenacity as they've adapted to remote learning and working, during the final few months of their degree. Here are a selection of their stories, highlights and achievements from their time at NYU Abu Dhabi, and their hopes and plans post-graduation. 

Catherine Palmer

Catherine majored in Biology, and will now attend UC Santa Cruz, US, in pursuit of a PhD in Microbiology and Environmental Toxicology.

"I have been participating in research in the Biology program since my freshman year. Throughout my four years, the Experimental Research Building has been like a second home to me. The lab members, as well as the biology cohort, are like my family. I spent my freshman summer with Professor Kirsten Sadler Edepli at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, learning how to live-image zebrafish livers. It was here that I really got intrigued by research and where the first stirrings of my Capstone began. I spent much of my school year and the following two summers at NYUAD in the fish room, at the microscope, and at the bench. The positivity and camaraderie that pervades our lab was a big impetus for my application to graduate school, and I am so excited to pursue topics related to my research and Capstone in my PhD program."

Chuan Chang

Chuan majored in Physics, and will now begin a PhD in Physics at Cornell University, US.

"NYUAD has provided me with a liberal arts education while equipping me with enough specialized training to embark on a PhD program in Physics. Besides giving me a broader perspective, my non-Physics classes - particularly in Philosophy - have contributed tremendously to my thinking and communication skills, both of which are extremely transferable to science research. In addition, my Capstone Project at NYUAD and my summer research at NYU New York helped me solidify my research interest in applying physics to tackle problems in biology, materials science, and more. I am particularly grateful to Professor George Shubeita for his mentorship, both in and outside of research, and to NYUAD for an amazing experience."

Natasha Treunen

Natasha majored in Psychology, and will now work as an Academy Fellow at the Aga Khan Academy Maputo in Mozambique.

"It is sad to imagine that my time at NYUAD is almost over. The past four years feel like they flew by too fast. Nevertheless, I am really excited for the next adventure that awaits me. Many of the things that I have been involved with on campus have been instrumental in making me choose to go work as an Academy Fellow in Aga Khan Maputo. One of my many roles will include being a mentor, as well as being a dorm parent for high school students. These are things I truly enjoy and I hope my time as a GEN mentor, an RA, and a Sustained Dialogue Ambassador - along with all the skills I have developed so far - will allow me to give this new role my all and enable me to play a key role in the lives of the students I am going to interact with."

Shaqe Karapetyan

Shaqe majored in Physics, and will study for a PhD in Applied Physics at Cornell University, US.

"Studying at NYUAD enabled my growth as an individual and an aspiring scientist. The mentorship and resources here have been pivotal in helping me identify my research interests - using Physics to address questions in Biology."

Fatima Alaydaroos

Fatima majored in Biology, and will begin a PhD at Duke-NUS Medical School, Singapore.

"Being at NYUAD and working in the Sadler Edepli Lab – where I also completed my Capstone -  made me realize how much I love research and helped me decide on pursuing it after graduation. Although it's going to be very challenging, I'm still very excited to move to Singapore for my PhD studies."

Diego Kleiman

Diego majored in Physics, and will now begin a PhD in Biophysics and Quantitative Biology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, US. 

Anna Erdi

Anna majored in Psychology, and will now study a Masters in Sports and Exercise Psychology at Loughborough University, UK.

"In the future, I would like to explore the changes that different types of exercises can cause in the brain and hopefully use these findings to explore the most efficient ways to involve sports and exercise in the treatment and prevention of mental disorders and neurodegenerative diseases. I am convinced that Loughborough will help me reach this goal."

NYUAD's Post Graduation Research Fellowship

The NYUAD Post-Graduation Research Fellowship provides a competitive opportunity for a prestigious one-year research fellowship at NYUAD. Now in its second year, the fellowship aims to retain outstanding academic talent within the region, and contribute to the growth and development of research in the UAE. Applicants have to develop their own research proposals for submission and review, and successful candidates then work on these research projects, under the guidance of faculty supervisors.

NYU Abu Dhabi would like to congratulate the following recipients of the 2020 Post-Graduation Research Fellowship in Science.

Laura Karpauskaite

Research Project Title: Targeted Delivery of a-helix Mimetics to Inhibit Mutant p53 Aggregation and Restore Tumor Suppressor Function in Pancreatic Carcinoma
Faculty Supervisors: Mazin Magzoub and President Andrew Hamilton


I am grateful to NYU Abu Dhabi for exposing me to interdisciplinary education, which shaped and nurtured my scientific mind, allowing me to form interests in diverse scientific disciplines. I am excited to stay at NYU Abu Dhabi and continue pursuing my interest in Chemical Biology as one of the Post-Graduation Research Fellows.

Laura Karpauskaite, Class of 2020 Graduate

AJ Abdujabborov

Research Project Title: A Comparison of MVPA Methods for Working Memory
Faculty Supervisor: Kartik Sreenivasan

Being a post-graduation research fellow at NYU Abu Dhabi will allow me to kickstart my research career with a project I'm truly passionate about.

AJ Abdujabborov, Class of 2020 Graduate

Students from previous graduating classes also shared their stories. Some have stayed at NYUAD to pursue research opportunities, others went straight into employment, and some took a break before pursuing post-graduate study.

Imtiyaz Enayatali Hariyani

After graduating in 2019, Imtiyaz was selected to participate in the Post-graduate Practical Training Program, after which he was hired to work as a Research Assistant with Stephane Boissinot in the Evolutionary Genomics Lab. He will now study his PhD in Cellular and Molecular Biosciences at the University of California Irvine, US.

"Working with the Evolutionary Genomics Lab upon graduating from NYU Abu Dhabi felt like the perfect transition into the research life. I have spent the last year completing several projects I started as an undergrad, and have continued to develop my skills in genomics and bioinformatics. This should give me a head start as I relocate to Irvine for my PhD." 

Ming Hu

Ming Hu majored in Computer Science. After graduating in 2018, she worked for two years before applying to the Master of Computer Science Program at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, US where she starts in the fall.

"NYUAD gave me the incredible opportunity to work closely with established computer scientists and aspiring students on a daily basis. These encounters have honed my capacity for collaborative leadership and taught me to be persistent and relentless in the face of setbacks."

Ella Noll

Ella Noll majored in Computer Science. She graduated in 2019, and is about to pursue her J.D. at Berkeley Law School, US.

"NYUAD gave me the freedom and support I needed to pursue my J.D. I didn't need to accept the first job I was offered, and when I instead chose to take a gap year and apply to law school to study Intellectual Property and Technology Law, I received nothing but support. Support from my professors, my friends, and my family -- I never would have made it this far without their help."

Nadine Soliman

Nadine Soliman graduated in 2019. A major in Physics, she was one of the first recipients of the Post-graduation Research Fellowship at NYUAD. She will now study a PhD in Astrophysics at Caltech, US.

As an NYUAD Post-graduation Research Fellow, Nadine worked with faculty supervisor Andrea Valerio Macciò and the Galaxy Formation Group. Nadine's research focused on studying supermassive black hole accretion and Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) feedback models to understand their effect on large galactic scales.