Peer Research Mentor Program

The Office of Undergraduate Research Peer Research Mentor Program connects students undertaking research for the first time with a community of their peers and a mentor.


What do the Peer research mentors do?

Peer Research Mentors cultivate a sense of community among Northwestern's student researchers, by serving as an example of the high-quality research currently undertaken by Northwestern undergraduates. They also serve as peer mentors for recipients of OUR summer research grants who are undertaking independent research for the first time over the summer.


Peer Research Mentors, 2017


Amanda Leung. My name is Amanda Leung, and I am a junior studying biology and Chinese language. I have been working in Dr. Tiffany Schmidt's neurobiology lab for the past 2.5 years studying intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGCs), its relationship with other retinal cell types and its behavioral influences.


Amy Lieberman. My name is Amy, and I am a junior double-majoring in human development and psychological services (HDPS) and psychology. My research focuses on the patterns associated with the onset of schizophrenia, and I am excited to learn more about my peers' research! I also love any form of coffee, running, and watching The Office!

Caroline Spikner. Caroline Spikner is a third year studying Radio-Television-Film and Dance. She spends her free time filming spontaneous dance videos and reading to preschooler and is a proud member of Jumpstart Americorps, New Movement Project, Delta Zeta Sorority, and a founding member of Flux Dance Project.


Christine Junhui Liu. I’m a dual degree junior in Weinberg and Bienen majoring in neuroscience and music theory. I work in Prof. Nina Kraus’s Auditory Neuroscience Lab studying how the sound of our lives influence the way our auditory brainstem process sound. In my “free" time, you can find me procrastinating in Pancoe Einstein’s reading non-class related research articles and performing in/attending concerts and recitals (for the free reception food obviously).


Christine Schlaug. I am a Weinberg junior studying Linguistics and Psychology with a minor in Communication Sciences and Disorders. My research experiences have ranged from pre-linguistic, cognitive development in infants, to looking at how background noises in our environment affect the way in which we understand and learn language. Outside of my research, I enjoy being an NU tour guide, playing in the marching band, and discovering new coffee shops in Evanston and Chicago!


Emily Comstock. My name is Emily Comstock and I am a junior in the School of Education and Social Policy. I am a double major in Social Policy and Gender and Sexuality Studies. This summer, I'll be working on my practicum while mentoring with the Office of Undergraduate Research. I am excited to create meaningful connections through coffee and doughnut excursions while exploring our various worlds of interest!

Emily Vogt. I'm a junior majoring in Neuroscience and Economics. I've been part of Dr. Fred Turek's lab for the past year conducting research in how aspects of the microbiome influence sleep and circadian alignment in mice. This summer, I'll be doing business development for a healthcare tech firm focused on increasing accessibility of mental healthcare resources.

Finote Aster Gijsman Kelemu. I'm a sophomore double majoring in Plant Biology and Environmental Sciences. I received a summer URG in 2016 and an academic year URG in 2017 to conduct research at the Chicago Botanic Garden on a threatened thistle species endemic to the Great Lakes region.


Gavin O'Toole Brehm. I am currently pursuing a dual degree in trumpet performance and human-centered design. My research has focused on human cognition and processing of artistic language through both industrial design and music.


Imane Ridouh. I’m a sophomore studying Neuroscience and Middle East/North African studies, and my research work has been looking at straital cholinergic neuronal signaling. When I’m not in lab, I’m at McSA events, reading reddit’s ELI5, or watching Suits. 


Jake Rothstein. My name is Jake Rothstein. I'm a political science, legal studies double major from Ft. Lauderdale Florida. My project was on comedic performance as socio-political speech.


Jiayi Lu. I am a Weinberg sophomore majoring in Integrated Science Program, Linguistics and Neuroscience. My research interests are on neurolinguistics and psycholinguistics (how people process language and generate speech from thoughts). 


Kenin Qian. I am a junior majoring in Biological Science as well as Integrated Science, and I am interested in pursuing a career in medicine after graduating from Northwestern. I work in the Horvath Lab where I have conducted research in gene tagging and in drug pathways. When I am free time I love to make food, listen to music, and swim.


Kotaro Tsutsumi. I am a junior working towards majors in Biological Sciences and Violin Performance and a minor in Computer Science. I have been conducting research on protein conformational diseases, and am currently investigating the cause of lysosomal dysfunction observed in Parkinson's Disease cells.


Lucia Brunel. I am a junior from Austin, Texas pursing a joint BS/MS in Chemical and Biological Engineering. My area of research interest is polymer science and engineering, and I have conducted research in this field both in the US and abroad. I currently work in Professor John Torkelson's research laboratory.


Rebecca Fudge. My name is Rebecca Fudge, and I am a sophomore originally from Orange County, California. I am a biology major doing reproductive science research.

Shane H Choi. I am a dual-degree student studying mechanical engineering and trumpet performance. I am passionate about energy and sustainability and intend on receiving my master's degree in this field. Research I have done include energy topics on electric vehicles, solar panel integration, and psychoacoustic relationships within music. 

Sophie Brauer. I'm a junior majoring in Chemistry and minoring in Philosophy. My research is in the Gray group in Environmental Engineering, where I am looking at ways to make industrial chemicals out of biomass. I co-founded the Association for Undergraduate Women in Science and I unironically enjoy the music of Rick Astley.


Victoria Wee. I'm a junior studying psychology with special interests in social and clinical psychology. During my free time I like to bake, take pictures of the sky, and draw elaborate doodles on snapchat.




Peer Research Mentors, 2016

Camille Calvin. I am a McCormick senior from Maryland. My major is biomedical engineering and I conduct biomechanics research at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. I am a co-op student and work as a engineer in medical device R&D. I am also very passionate about STEM education and volunteer with the National Society of Black Engineers and other STEM outreach groups


Sarah Rappaport. I'm a dual-degree junior in Materials Science and Engineering and French Horn Performance. I work in the lab of Prof. Lincoln Lauhon, studying two-dimensional material growth for energy production.


Tiffany Fang. I am a junior studying psychology and creative writing. Since freshman year, I've been involved in research and aspire to go on to graduate school for clinical psychology and conduct therapy one day. Broadly speaking, my research interests center on the factors that influence mental illness development. In my free time, I love going to shows in Chicago and discovering new music.


Rachel Ng. I’m a junior majoring in Biology and Political Science. I received a summer URG in 2015, and my current research at the Wignall Lab focuses on the role of a mid-bivalent ring complex in regulating meiosis in C.elegans.


Joseph Nicolas. I am a junior premedical student, majoring in Economics and minoring in Global Health. With an Academic Year URG I was awarded in 2015, I investigated the potential protective effect of probiotic species against intestinal cell apoptosis. 


Jordan Todes. I’m a sophomore majoring in Earth and Planetary Sciences and Integrated Science. My research interests span from geobiology – where I examine the membrane composition of extremophile microbes – to seismology, in which I investigate the relation between frequency and magnitude in deep earthquakes.


Aislinn McMillan. I am a junior chemistry major and global health minor.  Since my freshman year, I have been conducting biochemical research.  Last summer, I conducted public health field research in Arusha, Tanzania.