Dima Ayyash works at the intersection of technology and human behavior. She received her undergraduate and graduate degrees from MIT in urban planning and design, then transitioned into a research career in human cognitive neuroscience at MIT and Harvard/MGH. She has lived and worked in the Middle East, Asia, Europe, and North America, and brings an interdisciplinary and global perspective to her work. She enjoys exploring new adventures personally, professionally, and in the kitchen!
Nadja is a master’s student in Economic, Organizational and Social Psychology at Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich and further pursues an Honors Degree in Technology Management. Currently, she is writing her master’s thesis at MIT about the effect that different framings and personality traits can have on long-term financial decisions. Nadja’s research interests lie at the intersection of social psychology, behavioral economics, and organizational behavior. With her research, she hopes to shed some light on issues such as gender and economic inequality. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, she is further investigating the effect of different message framings on affective, cognitive, and behavioral reactions such as trust in political leaders.
Debbie is a third-year student in the Harvard/MIT MD-PhD program. She graduated in 2017 from Duke University with a BS in Chemistry and a minor in Computer Science, after which she spent a year pursuing research in computational genomics. Having finished the first two years of medical school at Harvard, she is currently pursuing the PhD phase of her MD-PhD training with the Senseable Intelligence Group in the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT. Her research interests lie at the intersection of machine learning, brain imaging and speech analysis in the realm of psychiatric and neurological diseases. After work, Debbie enjoys runs at Charles River, organizing events for the Wellness Interest Group at Harvard, and mentoring young scientists through the Women in STEM initiative.
Stanislas is currently pursuing his Juris Doctor at UC Berkeley School of Law. He studied history and political science at Columbia as an undergraduate, and co-founded its first Transatlantic Conference in 2016. Since then, Stan has conducted research for the Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies and worked for two law firms. Having lived in Africa, Europe, and the U.S., his goal is to specialize in law involving sovereign states. In his free time, Stan enjoys the outdoors, sailing, and jazz.
Serdest Demir is a MD/PhD candidate and a final year medical student at the Charité Berlin. At the intersection of clinic, research and industry his research focuses on translational fast brain magnetic resonance imaging at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. His perspective on social inequalities led him to volunteer at high schools, where he motivates children to pursue academic opportunities. He enjoys trying out new activities, right now he is tackling calisthenics.
Rahel Dette is a Master of Public Policy 2019 Candidate and McCloy Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School. She has been working on the role of technology in conflict settings, most recently advising the German development ministry on topics such as cyber security capacity building. She is a non-resident fellow at the Global Public Policy Institute in Berlin, and affiliate at digitalHKS as well as the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative.
Leonard is pursuing a Master of Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School. After completing his legal education at LMU Munich and the Hanseatic Higher Regional Court, Leonard worked in election campaigning and private sector consulting. In another function, Leonard was the head of bilateral meetings at the Munich Security Conference from 2012-2019. At HKS, he will focus on foreign and security policy with a regional focus on Africa. In his free time, he enjoys outdoor sports, cooking and playing piano.
Igor Gilitschenski is a Research Scientist at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab and an incoming Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto. He works on Artificial Intelligence for robotics and autonomous driving. Igor’s research interests involve developing novel probabilistic, statistical, and learning methods for perception and decision making. Before coming to MIT, he studied and worked in Zürich, Karlsruhe, Stuttgart, Berlin, and London. He loves a great discussion and has been involved in politics and competitive debating.
Max is a visiting PhD fellow at HBS. Prior, he graduated in Industrial Engineering and Management at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. He also studied abroad at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich (ETH Zürich) focusing on innovation, technology transfer and the East-Asian culture. His extracurricular activities include politics and he is co-founder of a non-profit start-up. Max is a PhD fellow of the Foundation of the German Economy.
Katharina is a medical engineering and medical physics PhD candidate in the joint Health Sciences and Technology program at MIT and Harvard. In her research she is exploring the translation of deep learning algorithms for medical image analysis into clinical practice. Katharina holds a BSc in Physics from Kiel University and MD from Heidelberg University. When not busy with research and the GAC, she volunteers at a student-faculty community clinic and enjoys reading and rowing on the Charles.
Luca Johann is a fifth-year medical student and second-year business student at Philipps University Marburg. As an MD candidate in the Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine at BIDMC and Harvard Medical School, he is investigating the improvement of patients’ postoperative outcomes as well as the treatment of hospitalized COVID-19 patients with the help of observational data. He volunteers as a representative for scholarship holders of the German Academic Scholarship Foundation and enjoys long rides with his bike through Massachusetts and sailing on the Charles River.
Patrick is a recent graduate from the University of Connecticut and is a fellow for the Congress Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals (CBYX). He is applying to master’s programs in both Washington and Europe with a focus in European studies. He is passionate about all things German, diplomacy, and finding ways to contribute to the German-American friendship. In his free time, he enjoys reading, running, listening to podcasts, and watching any German related show on any streaming platform.
Alex is pursuing a PhD in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at MIT. His focus is on magnetic materials and spin dynamics. He previously studied in Stuttgart at the Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research on a Fulbright Fellowship and in Baltimore at Johns Hopkins University. In his free time, you can find him cooking, biking or traveling.
Christina is a visiting PhD fellow at Harvard Kennedy School as part of the Center for International Development’s Growth Lab and affiliate at the ifo Institute in Munich. She holds a M.Sc. with Honors in economics from the University of Regensburg and is pursuing her PhD at the Catholic University of Eichstaett-Ingolstadt. Her research interests cover the fields of empirical labor and educational economics with a special focus on the labor market effects of technical change. Outside of work and university, she likes doing sports to unwind and playing the piano.
Jonas is a PhD Student at MIT’s Center for Transportation and Logistics and his research focuses on quantitative modeling to improve urban logistics. He graduated from Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) in Industrial Engineering and Sustainable Development and gained professional experience in Berlin, Guadaljara and Lima. Besides his research and GAC, Jonas enjoys MIT’s vast sports offers and can often be found sailing the Charles or exploring the white mountains.
Linda is a senior at Harvard College, studying Psychology and Ethnicity, Migration, Rights. She is deeply passionate about intercultural dialogue, holds a German-French AbiBac, and is currently learning Hebrew. Linda is a former elite soccer player who represented Germany on the international stage. In her free time, she binge-listens to podcasts and loves doing yoga.
Janille is a PhD candidate in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at MIT. Her research focus is on the multiscale chemomechanical characterization of cultural heritage materials and structures, and it has included studies of ancient Roman concrete, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and the free-standing columns of Pompeii. She previously obtained her Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering, also at MIT. In her free time, she enjoys playing guitar, studying real and fictional languages, and experimenting with fermentation.
Jeremy Martinez is a 2nd year student at Harvard Medical School. He earned degrees in Biology and German at Duke University, during which he spent a summer conducting cancer research at the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg, Germany. While at Duke University, he also conducted research at the Kenan Plastic Surgery Research Laboratories, specifically on the use of a novel, implantable oxygen sensor in measuring tissue oxygen tension in real-time. After graduation, he spent 2 years working as an English Teaching Assistant in Klagenfurt, Austria before starting at Harvard Medical School. At Harvard, he chartered the group Harvard Students for a National Health Plan (HSNaHP) and helps lead the Ophthalmology Interest Club (OPTIC). He has interests in healthcare economics and health policy, and enjoys baking authentic German breads.
Cosima Mattner is pursuing a PhD at Columbia University’s German Department. Her research focuses on the relation of politics and aesthetics in modern and postmodern German literary history. Before moving to the US, Cosima has earned her BA degree in German literature and philosophy from Göttingen University as a Studienstiftung-, Cusanus-, and SDW-Fellow. Apart from academic assistantships in Göttingen and at WashU (St Louis), she has worked in multiple teaching positions and in cultural management at Göttingen house of literature. In her free time, Cosima enjoys writing on contemporary art. Generally, Cosima is a passionate yogi and cannot live without music.
Hannah is a PhD Fellow at Harvard Business School and part of the Laboratory for Innovation Science at Harvard (LISH), where she does research on digital transformation and AI-powered business models. Her research interests also extend to (digital) business ecosystems – an area she explored as part of her doctoral studies, which she completed at the University of St. Gallen. Hannah is an author (e.g., she co-wrote the Wiley-published book “The Digital Transformer’s Dilemma”) and publishes regularly in leading academic and practitioner outlets (e.g., Forbes, HBR). Previously, she spent 2+ years as a Consultant at an internationally leading consulting firm, specializing in digital transformation, digital skill building and future of work. Prior to that, Hannah worked at Google as a Digital Strategist, helping media agencies optimize their digital strategies.
Cecile Meier-Scherling is an undergraduate at Boston University’s College of Engineering. She is expected to graduate in May 2022 with Bs in Biomedical Engineering with a minor in Computer Engineering. Cecile has focused on data analytics in biomedical engineering and neuroengineering. Having lived both in the US and Germany she appreciates and fosters the transatlantic community. At Boston University, Cecile is a D1 Rower on the open weight team. While not studying or rowing on the Charles, she enjoys the outdoors, cooking and drawing.
Tim Menke is pursuing a PhD in the field of quantum computing at Harvard and MIT. He obtained his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Physics from ETH Zurich, spending a year at the University of Colorado in Boulder for his Master’s thesis. Tim has a strong interest in international relations, diplomacy and entrepreneurship, taking every opportunity to get involved in student conferences and workshops on those topics. In his free time, he enjoys conversations with amazing people over a cup of tea.
Valeria is a sophomore at MIT majoring in Management and minoring in German. She is currently performing research with the Health Decisions Sciences Center at MGH, helping to measure the effectiveness of shared decision making approaches in increasing efficacy in patients whose colon cancer screenings were cancelled due to COVID-19. At MIT she is the undergraduate representative for the Medical Consumer’s Advisory Council, and enjoys running with the MIT Running Club and playing the clarinet in her free time.
mma Samek is an undergraduate at Northeastern University, pursuing a degree in Business Administration and a minor in Political Science. She is also a member of the Varsity Women’s Rowing team. Because Emma grew up bilingual with Slovak and German, she has a strong interest in European politics. When not rowing on the Charles River or studying Emma helps to plan the GAC communications strategy.
Merle is a third year medical student from the TU Munich, Germany and is currently spending a year at Harvard for her research. At Massachusetts General Hospital she is exploring new imaging techniques in Ophthalmology and is working on wound healing studies in Dermatology, hopefully completing her doctor thesis through this work. Merle likes to go Sailing and Running and is also interested in any current affairs and enjoys the broad programme of talks and events at Harvard and MIT. Women empowerment is a topic close to Merle’s heart, which is why she organized the female leadership panel together with Annie and attempted to make the conference as diverse as possible.
Johanna is a second-year student in the Harvard Kennedy School MPP program. After various internships in journalism in Germany and Russia, Johanna studied politics, philosophy and economics at the University of Oxford. During her undergraduate studies, she worked as a research assistant at the Oxford Martin School under Prof. Cameron Hepburn on topics such as energy R&D incentivisation. From 2017 to 2019 she joined Aurora Energy Research Berlin, working on electricity market modelling and system integration of renewable energies, with a focus on the Polish, German and French electricity markets. At the Kennedy School, Johanna wants to deepen her expertise at the interface between technical and regulatory issues. She is currently on a leave of absence, working for the European Commission in the Directorate General for Climate.
Philipp is a PhD student in Materials Science and Engineering at MIT. His research focuses on highly miniaturized glucose fuel cells for energy harvesting in the human body. Philipp holds a BSc in Physics and a MSc in Energy Science and Technology, both from ETH Zürich. Prior to his PhD, Philipp was managing a manufacturing software startup in Copenhagen. In his free time, Philipp enjoys bouldering, playing soccer, hiking and travelling.
Marie is in her 4th year of medical school at the University of Münster in Germany. Last year, she took time off from college to gain an insight into the research at MIT’s Langer Lab and the Center for Systems Biology at Massachusetts General Hospital. Reminiscing about the fun she had organizing 2019’s GAC, Marie was happy to get on board once again to help with this year’s event series. After work, Marie enjoys a good field hockey match, playing the piano, and can be found discussing the latest political news over a warm cup of coffee.
Reimar is a PhD student in Mechanical Engineering at MIT, where he focuses on metal additive manufacturing processes as well as implications of advanced manufacturing on the future of work. Before starting his engineering PhD, Reimar worked several years in management consulting, focusing on digital strategy and organizational transformation/turnarounds. He likes doing sports, cooking, exploring the world, engaging in societal matters, e.g., as a One Young World Ambassador, and holds degrees in engineering and management.
Angela is a postdoctoral fellow at MIT in Materials Science. Her research explores spintronic effects in magnetic thin films. She holds a PhD in Physics from the University of Cambridge, UK. In her free time, she enjoys bouldering, making music, and travelling.
Maria Wrobel is a third-year medical student at LMU Munich working on her doctoral thesis in the Department of Radiology at Massachusetts General Hospital. She is passionate about new interventional procedures as a young branch in medicine. Therefore, her work focuses on optimizing minimal-invasive treatments for lung cancer patients. Endeavoring improvement in patient care, she develops and organizes patient-oriented, collaborative training for clinical teams at her faculty. In her free time, she enjoys playing and singing jazz.
Marvin is a fourth-year medical student at Heidelberg University. He is currently working on his MD thesis in the Department of Neurology at Boston Children's Hospital. With the aim of expanding treatment options, he investigates the cellular mechanisms of neurodegenerative diseases that affect children at an early age. In addition to his passion for basic research, he enjoys his spare time running through Boston's parks or along the Charles River. He is also very interested in international politics and therefore happy to contribute to this year's GAC.