Vinayak is a senior STEM Scholar pursuing a degree in Molecular and Cell Biology. He is currently the president of the UConn American Medical Student Association (AMSA) on campus and has served as a “Big” in the Kids & UConn Bridging Education (KUBE) program. He has previously conducted research at Yale University studying the cellular response to a novel biodegradable stent as a therapeutic alternative to metal stents for atherosclerosis. He is currently working in Dr. Nguyen’s lab on campus with an individual project focusing on researching the molecular pathway that is affected by biodegradable piezoelectric films to induce efficient cartilage differentiation of adipose-derived stem cells. He is currently working on a start-up project in which he plans to bring a novel biodegradable surgical grade mask to the market. Aside from his research, he is also a co-host on his podcast series, Agents of Change which aims to serve as a resource to young students on how to be leaders in the community. Along with his passion for science, research, and podcasts, Vinayak is an avid investor, tech enthusiast, and Indian food aficionado.
Mukund is a senior STEM Scholar pursuing a double major in Physiology & Neurobiology and Spanish with a minor in European Studies. During his junior year, Mukund became involved in undergraduate research in Dr. John Salmone’s Lab, where he has investigated the effects of various dopamine transport inhibitors on effort-related motivation in rats. Dr. Salamone guided Mukund in creating his own unique project, for which he received a SURF Award for Summer 2020. He serves as a broadcast mentor at WHUS 91.7 FM, where he also debuted his leadership podcast series, Agents of Change. Through his role as a Peer Research Ambassador, Mukund has been able to use his passion for research and service to help students gain confidence in their creative endeavors. Credited to his upbringing as a trained vocalist, he also spearheaded the creation of Riyaaz, a South Asian classical fusion ensemble. Mukund is committed to taking unique interdisciplinary approaches to showcase the vibrant talent of the UConn community and deliver a message of unity. Outside of school, he loves to ski, play the accordion, and sip a good espresso.