Alissa Totman is an MD/MPH candidate at the Stanford School of Medicine and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. She established Synapse in 2016 to provide undergraduates with leadership opportunities expanding social support for individuals with brain injury across the US. She has been working with the brain injury community for over 6 years, and this work has played a major role in her decision to pursue a career in neuro-rehabilitation. After completing her MD/MPH she plans to pursue residency training in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and to further specialize in Traumatic Brain Injury.
Michael Zhu Chen
Michael is an undergraduate at Stanford who loves working at the intersection of neuroscience, medicine, and public service. Having suffered a minor brain injury himself as a child, Michael became involved in Synapse to support individuals with brain injury and raise public awareness about brain injury. Michael’s involvement with Stanford Synapse has shown him the value of empowering students to become leaders in their communities in pursuit of a common goal, which is precisely the mission of Synapse National. Michael is excited to extend the model of the student-run support group to create a network of brain injury support groups at colleges across the country. After graduation, Michael plans to research and treat disorders of the brain as a physician scientist.
Julie Kim is an undergraduate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology studying Biological Engineering. She is currently president of BrainTrust, MIT’s chapter of Synapse. Julie decided to get involved with BrainTrust at the start of her freshman year after hearing an individual with brain injury talk about how influential and supportive BrainTrust has been to her. BrainTrust has been extremely eye-opening and formative for Julie, and has encouraged her to pursue medical school after graduating from MIT. She is excited to see Synapse grow nationally and serve many more communities.
Jennifer Lee is an undergraduate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology studying Computer Science and Molecular Biology. She is currently Vice President of Outreach for BrainTrust, MIT’s Synapse chapter. Upon graduation, Jennifer plans to participate in MIT’s fifth-year Masters of Engineering program and then to attend medical school. Being part of BrainTrust has sparked Jennifer’s interest in how to best harness technology to improve quality of life for both patients and individuals with disabilities. She is very excited to help expand the Synapse community!
Claire Woodrow is a Stanford undergraduate student pursuing a degree in Human Biology with a concentration in Neuroscience. After being introduced to patients suffering from brain trauma during high school, her desire to continue to serve the brain injury community led her to join Stanford Synapse as a freshman. Claire is inspired by the meaningful friendships Synapse helps to facilitate between individuals with brain injury and undergraduate students, and she is excited to see the support network expand nationally. In the future, Claire plans to continue studying the brain and hopefully become a physician.
Alexis Ball is an MD/MPP candidate at the Harvard Medical School and Harvard John F Kennedy School of Government. She joined the leadership of Synapse in 2016. She has experience with the brain injury community both through her work advocating for concussion awareness but also personally due to a father with a traumatic brain injury. Alexis plans on pursuing a career in pediatrics and looks to incorporate brain injury advocacy throughout her career.