2016 – 2017 Scholars

Meet the 2016 – 2017 Upper School Bioethics Scholars from The Ethics Institute at Kent Place School.

Hannah Abere, Class of 2019

Hannah Abere is a sophomore at Kent Place School. She is researching the process of Mitochondrial Replacement Therapy and the desire to become a genetic parent (“The Biological Imperative”). Hannah joined the Bioethics Project due to her drive to pursue a career in the medical field and to improve her ethical reasoning skills. She hopes to one day become a physician and apply the information she gathered throughout this project to her potential work in the future. Hannah has thoroughly enjoyed the Bioethics Project experience and is thankful for the opportunity to discuss and debate a topic she is passionate about.

Gaby Branin, Class of 2017

Gaby Branin is a current senior at Kent Place and has been at Kent Place since she came in kindergarten in 2004. She joined this year’s project, Genetically Modified Life: Science, Ethics, and Medical Innovation, because of her passion for biomedical engineering and learning about fast paced innovations that can alter the human race. She also loves athletics and is a three sport varsity athlete here at Kent Place, which is one of the reasons why she decided to focus her project on gene doping and its effects on the future of sports. She has really enjoyed her time in the Bioethics Project learning about many different innovations that have the capacity to change humans and the world, and she hopes to continue learning more after she graduates in June 2017.

Elynn Chang, Class of 2019

Elynn Chang is a sophomore at Kent Place and has been attending for 5 years. She joined the Bioethics Project to understand ethics specifically in the medical field, as that is what she aspires to have a future in. In addition, she hoped to explore more topics relating to Biology that may not have been available to her in a standard Biology course. Elynn’s project focused on Achondroplasia and Limb-Lengthening Procedures, precisely surrounding the question: Is an individual altering their identity when they alter an aspect of their physical appearance? She hopes to use the information that she retained and apply them not only to future research and education but daily life.

Rebecca Del Rio, Class of 2018

Rebecca Del Rio, who has attended Kent Place since her freshman year, is currently a junior who has participated in the 2016-2017 Bioethics Project, “Genetically Modified Life: Science, Ethics, and Medical Innovation”. Throughout her project, Precision vs. Trial & Error: Your Genome Can Potentially Save Your Life…But at What Cost?, she explores through research the ethical implications surrounding having one’s genome sequenced to allow medical patients the opportunity to undergo pharmacogenomic tests to determine the ideal medications and dosages for their body. She also contemplates the potential of the method to become a form of standard care in the United States, especially through insurance coverage. The Bioethics Project has not only allowed Rebecca the opportunity to dive deeper into the world of bioethics through both research and oral presentations, but to also draw connections between related or dissimilar topics of her fellow classmates to her own work. Rebecca is grateful for both her the opportunity to be a part of the Bioethics Project and her experience to push herself to grow confident about her own topic, and looks forward to pursuing future research and studies related to bioethics.

Anna Hogarth, Class of 2019

Anna Hogarth, a sophomore, felt interested in the topic of “Genetically Modified Life” because she wondered how people with genetic disabilities felt about gene modifying technology. For the Bioethics Project, she is researching the impacts of deaf couples choosing a deaf embryo with emphasis on parental responsibility, harm, community, and future implications. Her favorite aspect of the Bioethics Project was being able to lead and take part in deep conversations about topics which are prevalent today. She hopes to continue having these discussions with family and friends and hopes to pursue environmental science and art in college.

Keerthi Jayaraman, Class of 2019

Keerthi Jayaraman is sophomore at Kent Place School, participating in the 2016-2017 Bioethics Project. Her project titled, [Dis]Ability: A “Cure” for Down Syndrome, encompasses her research on Down Syndrome chromosome therapy, which is a form of gene therapy that could potentially be used to silence the extra chromosome 21 causing Down Syndrome. Keerthi also investigated what the definition of “disability,” particularly the evolution from society seeing “disability” as an impairment to a “different ability.” Keerthi has sincerely enjoyed her experience as a part of The Bioethics Project as she credits the course for pushing her to think more critically and assess the world around her from an ethical standpoint.

Emma Littlejohn, Class of 2019

Emma Littlejohn is currently a sophomore at Kent Place School. Her project focused on the ethical implications of expanding the current newborn screening system to include genome sequencing. Emma has been interested in the field of ethics and science since middle school and hopes to continue to pursue this throughout college as well as the rest of her life. Being a part of the Bioethics Project, has definitely increased her awareness of the ongoing expansion and exploration in the field of genetics in relation to ethics.

Isabella Racioppi, Class of 2019

Isabella Racioppi is a sophomore at Kent Place School where she has studied since kindergarten.  Her love of science inspired her to participate in the Bioethics Project in order to explore ethical issues relating to scientific fields. She has enjoyed the thought processes and discussions involved in considering the ethicality of issues. Isabella  has chosen to research the genetics of intelligence as her project. She hopes to pursue a career in engineering.

Lily Roberts, Class of 2019

Lily Roberts is a sophomore in her eleventh year at Kent Place School.  As an eighth grader, she knew that someday she would like to join the ranks of the previous Bioethics Project scholars. During the genetics unit in her freshman biology class, she had a keen interest in pursuing the ethical and societal implications of genetically modified organisms. This year’s topic “Genetically Modified Life: Science, Ethics and Medical Innovation” encouraged her to think outside of the box and explore two of her passions–fashion and public policy. Her paper titled “Garment Genetics: The Ethics of Consuming Genetically Engineered Clothing” explores the ethical implications of the consumption of garments containing genetically modified fibers.  In the future, Lily hopes to take the knowledge she has obtained through the project to better her understanding of ethical implications in policy-making.

Sophia Sinins, Class of 2018

Sophia Sinins is a junior at Kent Place School. She is researching the ethical implications of emerging genetic enhancement technologies for the future of human intelligence. She chose to participate in the Bioethics Project because of her fascination with the controversial and complex issues that emerge from innovations in science and technology.  She has been fascinated by the themes underlying many bioethical issues that are also relevant in current events as well as throughout history. Sophia enjoys analyzing bioethical issues from different perspectives and is intrigued by the blurriness in where to draw the line. She is very grateful for the incredible opportunities that the Bioethics Project offered her, and she hopes to continue researching and discussing bioethical issues. 

Maris Zammataro, Class of 2017

Maris Zammataro is a current senior at Kent Place and has been at Kent Place since she came in kindergarten in 2004. She is researching the ethics of cross-border reproductive travel in the context of gestational surrogacy. As an avid global citizen and advocate for social justice, she felt that the intersection of biology and ethics was integral in speaking with competency on issues that impact the lives of others. Though she wants to pursue a career in marine biology, she believes that  everyone should have a general knowledge of Bioethics.

Maddie Zietsman, Class of 2019

Maddie Zietsman has been at Kent Place School for 12 years. This year, as a tenth grader, she was part of the Bioethics Project. Her focus has been the topic of savior siblings especially pertaining to the values of autonomy, nonmaleficence, and parental duty. The Bioethics Project has not only allowed her to dive deeper into her own topic, but to explore similar topics and discover the underlying themes that appear throughout all. Maddie is thankful for her experience throughout this course and looks forward to pursuing the study of Bioethics in the future.