Mary Gates Endowment For Students

2020 CoMotion Scholars

Summer Internship Program

Selected 2020 Scholars

Jason Chan

Institution: University of Washington

Mentor: Eric Seibel

Jason Chan is a rising senior at the University of Washington majoring in Biology-Physiology with a minor in Global Health. This summer, he will be working with Eric Seibel and Shawn Swanson on the UnTape project to develop medical tape that provides increased skin adhesion while allowing for easy removal upon heating of the tape. He is excited to work in a startup environment with an innovative project that will improve the well-being of both patients and healthcare practitioners, which ties into his career goals of pursuing a career in the healthcare field. Outside of his studies, Jason enjoys music and any sort of outdoor activities. He plays keyboard in a local Seattle-based neo-soul band and can often be found running, playing basketball, and just spending time outside.

Rahaf Bashmail

Institution: University of Washington

Mentor: Michael Bailey

Rahaf Bashmail is a rising senior at the University of Washington studying Materials Science and Engineering. She is an international student from Saudi Arabia who is dedicated to empowering women in STEM. This led her to take the initiative to reinstate the Women in Materials Science and Engineering (WiMSE) club as the new president to help support and mentor females in the major. Additionally, as an Engineering Peer Educator, she is teaching a general studies class in the fall to serve as a facilitator and mentor to first-year engineering undeclared students. This summer, she is working on Project Sonomotion under Dr. Michael Bailey and Daniel Leotta, which seeks to develop a 3D ultrasound scanning method to measure the volume of fluid that builds up in the kidney due to blockage by a kidney stone. Next fall, she is participating in the Engineering Innovation in Health (EIH) program which promotes interdisciplinary collaboration between engineering and the health sciences with the goal of developing technical solutions to pressing challenges in health care. Rahaf’s future goal is to elevate healthcare delivery in the Middle East and worldwide by working in biomedical research, specifically in the medical device industry.

Alicia Gim

Institution: University of Washington

Mentor: Paul Drain

Alicia Gim is senior in chemical engineering working under the guidance of Dr. Paul Drain, Dr. Jonathan Posner, and Dr. Ayokunle Olanrewaju through the Posner Research Group. Her research involves validating and optimizing a probabilistic model of the RESTRICT assay, an enzymatic inhibition assay that monitors levels of anti-HIV drugs in blood. RESTRICT is cheaper, faster, and simpler than current methods of measuring antiretroviral drug adherence, making it more suitable for clinical use. It is especially promising for application in low-income countries; people are disproportionately affected with AIDS/HIV in these areas, yet viral load, drug resistance, and antiretroviral drug concentration testing remain inaccessible. Prior to joining the Posner group, Gim has worked in the student organization EcoCAR studying vehicle dynamics and controls, supervisory controller design, and energy management strategies under MS & PhD candidate Yudong Lin, and in the Varani Research Group studying HIV and cancer-associated RNA under Dr. Gabriele Varani, Dr. Matthew Shortridge, and Dr. Shrikant Sharma. She is considering a doctorate degree post-graduation, and plans for a research role in the biotech or propulsion engineering industries.



Christina Kuismi

Institution: University of Washington

Mentor: Lance Stewart

Christina Kuismi is pursuing a Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology major and a Bioethics minor. This summer she is a participant in the CoMotion Mary Gates Innovation Internship program. She is working as an intern at the Institute of Protein Design to research and prepare business case analyses for protein assets involved in gene therapies. After completing her undergraduate degree, she plans to pursue a master’s degree and work in the biomedical research field. Her specific interests are in researching future applications of epigenetics, developing gene therapies, and improving delivery mechanisms for gene therapies. In her spare time, Christina enjoys teaching and mentoring youth, making goat milk soap, and traveling.


Lan Le

Institution: University of Washington

Mentor: Christine K. Luscombe

Lan is a junior majoring in Chemistry at the University of Washington. Her research focuses on the project using caffein and theobromine to synthesize low-cost and high-efficient lighting converters for different lighting applications in the infrared region. With the wishful thought of getting involved in hands-on exploration of research outside textbooks environment, she believes that this experiment would be an irreplaceable learning experience. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, reading books and playing violin.

Jiwon Lee

Institution: University of Washington

Mentor: Jorge Fallas

Jiwon Lee is a keen bioengineer who dreams to operate his own startup company in the future. With his international background, Jiwon is open-minded and not limited to learning novel concepts in various scientific fields. Jiwon accepts the diversity within the work and always does his best to lead and adjust the work for the best performance. Jiwon is multi-talented and interested in various fields such as music, golf, programming, research and more. During his Sophomore and Junior years, Jiwon worked in Pollack Lab to investigate the impact of Wi-Fi to properties of the 4th phase of water. Not just limited to one research topic, biological applications and data science are the fields where Jiwon aims to take his next step on his research career.

Cameron Sietz

Institution: University of Washington

Mentor: Alshakim Nelson

Cameron Sietz is originally from Port Angeles, Washington, where he attended Peninsula College. He is a sophomore at the University of Washington in the Department of Chemical Engineering. Interested in biomaterials research for applications in tissue engineering/regenerative medicine, he hopes to continue his summer research involvement during the remainder of his undergraduate education. After earning his degree, he aspires to develop novel biomaterials that can be used for synthetic organ development. Cameron enjoys spending time with his Wife, Michelle, and their dog, Lilly, in his free time, as well as doing cardio kickboxing and experimenting with recipes in the kitchen.

Jan Silva

Institution: University of Washington

Mentor: Robert M. Sweet

Jan Silva is a rising junior at the University of Washington pursuing a degree in Electrical Engineering and a minor in Entrepreneurship. This summer she will be working with Dr. Robert Sweet and David Hananel on transitioning prototypes of medical educational technology to manufacturers for commercialization. Jan is interested in the intersection of engineering and business, as well as the medical device industry. In her free time, she likes to play guitar, taste and cook new foods, discover new music, and is an Engineering Peer Educator. In the future, Jan hopes to continue pursuing a career devoted to making medical technology more sustainable and accessible.

Jason Yan

Institution: University of Washington

Mentor: Ricky Wang

Jason Yan is a rising senior student at UW, majoring in Informatics. For the past two years, he has worked mostly on software development, especially front end development (JS and React, etc.) and mobile development (Kotlin). Besides actively participating in various group projects, Jason is also passionate about learning from the industry and bridging the gap between academia and industry. He hopes to take this opportunity to dig deeper into the software development through rigorous research and development.

Katherine Zhang

Institution: University of Washington

Mentor: Eric Seibel

Katherine is a rising senior at the University of Washington studying bioengineering. She has interests in global health and plans to be involved in the development of medical technologies that increase accessibility to healthcare in low-resource settings. During the school year, she works with the Posner Research Group to develop a fast and low-cost method of measuring antiretroviral drug levels in patients’ blood, which will help healthcare professionals objectively assess how well their patients are adhering to their treatment for HIV. This summer through the CoMotion Mary Gates Innovation Scholars Program, she will be working with Dr. Eric Seibel, Shawn Swanson, and Jason Chan to optimize a new medical tape, UnTape, that can be removed quickly and painlessly when heat is applied. Additionally, she and Jason will be participating in the National Science Foundation (NSF) I-Corps program, as well the WE-REACH Biomedical Innovation Bootcamp, both of which will provide insight and experience on the commercial skills necessary to successfully launch a new product, like UnTape, into the market. In her free time, Katherine likes to travel, read, and spend time with her friends.