Our Board

Javier Portillo (PhD Candidate, MCDB)

Javier Portillo is a PhD candidate in MCDB. He is a National Science Foundation Fellow, a Yale Prize Teaching Fellow, and leads the initiative to create Yale’s first university-wide mentorship program between Yale College, Yale Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and Yale’s various professional schools. His research interests are aimed at elucidating the molecular/biochemical mechanisms of the genetic and chemical origins of life.

Maxine Mackie (MC ’23)
Maxine Mackie is a sophomore hoping to pursue MCDB on the pre-med track. She works as a laboratory assistant in the Ring Immunobiology lab on the Yale Medical School campus. She is currently the Chair of GUMI.
Aarthi Vijayakumar (GH ’23)

Aarthi Vijayakumar is a sophomore pursuing MB&B on the pre-med track as well as a certificate in Spanish. Outside of YURA, Aarthi helps direct Yale Undergraduate Science Olympiad and is an undergraduate researcher in the Steitz lab, where she studies the role of noncoding RNAs in the antiviral response.

Siraj Patwa (BK ’23)

Siraj Patwa is a sophomore pursuing Neuroscience on the pre-med track and a certificate in Spanish. He conducts research on neuroanatomical changes following injury to the nervous system in the Waxman lab. In addition to being a part of the Yale Undergraduate Research Association, he serves as a volunteer at the HAVEN free clinic.

Mia Haraguchi (DC ’22)
Mia Pic

Mia is majoring in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology. She works on the Graduate-Undergraduate Mentorship Initiative (GUMI), developing resources for graduate mentors and contributing to outreach efforts.


Jerry Ruvalcaba (TD ’23)
Jerry Ruvalcaba is a sophomore pursuing MCDB on the pre-med track. He works in the Malvankar lab group of the Microbial Sciences Institute studying the nanowire systems of Geobacter bacteria. In addition to this, he writes for the Yale Scientific Magazine and volunteers for Yale Matriculate.


Julian Rubinfien (JE ’23)

julianJulian is a sophomore Math and Physics major helping to build out the Graduate-Undergraduate Mentorship Initiative (GUMI). He works on various projects in the Physics, CS, and MB&B departments, and has theoretical and experimental interests spanning biology and space sciences. Outside of academics, he volunteers as an EMT at Yale and in New York City.




Kevin Chen (MC ’24)

KevinKevin Chen is a first-year who hopes to double major in MB&B on the pre-med track and archaeological studies. He is working on the Graduate-Undergraduate Mentorship Initiative (GUMI) to expand on mentorship resources and promote diversity and inclusion in the Yale research community. Outside of YURA, he works as a paleoarchaeology research assistant in the Thompson lab.