President: Vishakh Walia –






Vishakh is a Ph.D. student and works as a Research Assistant in Dr. Julia Hilliard’s lab. He works in one of the few BSL-4 labs in the country located at Georgia State University (GSU). His research involves developing therapeutics and diagnostics for Herpes B virus infections. He also teaches Molecular Cell Biology Laboratory (BIOL3810) to undergraduates. He earned his M.S. in Microbiology at VIT University, Vellore, India in 2011 and was a Senior Research Fellow at Indian Veterinary Research Institute until 2013. He got his second M.S. in Biology at GSU in 2014. He likes traveling, scuba diving , water sports, kayaking, hiking, motorcycling, trying new restaurants.

Masters Rep: Yathreb Mohamed –  


Yathre Bayan is a pharmacist, she worked as TA in University in Egypt, and is a Fulbright scholar in Biology department Biotechnology concentration. She won a health lT competition in GSU and is also a TA in microbiology eucology.  

Treasurer: Heena Sadhwani – 

Heena is a PhD student in Molecular Genetics and Biochemistry and works as a Research Assistant in Dr. Margo Brinton’s lab. Her research includes characterization of Simian Hemorrhagic Fever Virus (SHFV) mutants and sequence analysis of the virus. She has completed her Bachelors and Masters in Biotechnology from University of Mumbai in the year 2011 and 2013, respectively. She is a trained Indian Classical dancer in a dance form called Kathak. She loves music, outdoor adventures, social activities, adventures like hiking. She likes socializing (hence 3rd year in BGSA) and exploring new places and trying different cuisines.

Secretary: Maggie Creech – 

Maggie is a 2nd year PhD student in the Biology department, with a concentration in Molecular Genetics and Biochemistry, and works in Dr. John Houghton’s lab.  Her research looks at the proteomic changes that occur over time following short-term cadmium exposure in the lower eukaryotic model S. cerevisiae.  She completed both her Bachelors and Masters at GSU in 2014 and 2016, respectively.  When not busy in the lab she likes going hiking, traveling, and spending time with friends and family. 

Marketing: Malvika Sharma – 

Malvika is a Ph.D. student under the supervision of Dr. Zhi-Ren Liu. Her research focuses on breast and pancreatic cancer microenvironment. She received her Bachelor’s degree in pharmaceutical sciences from Panjab University in the year 2012 and Masters of Science degree in Pharmacology and Toxicology from National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER), India in the year 2014. She enjoys traveling, playing sports like lawn tennis and badminton, and other outdoor activities like hiking and kayaking.

International Student Rep : Adani Pujada – 

Adani is a PhD candidate in the Biology department at Georgia State University (GSU). Her doctoral research focuses on developing new therapeutic targets to improve Inflammatory Bowel Diseases treatments under the supervision of Dr. Pallavi Garg and Dr. Didier Merlin. Adani is also a science educator with teaching experience in introductory biology lab courses at GSU. If you can’t find her in the lab, working on her research project, she is probably in her “second lab” as she plays the role of Head TA in the undergraduate biology labs. Besides being passionate about science education, she is also passionate about FOOD, dancing (she is Peruvian so she loves dancing salsa), volleyball and outdoor activities. Adani spends a lot of time in school but when she is off, she loves spending time with her lovely husband, the beautiful Jellybean or “JB” (her cat), and her friends.

Event Coordinator 2: Mahathi Venkat – 

Mahathi is a PhD student in Dr. Yuan Liu’s laboratory. Her research includes identification of CD47 clustering on aged RBCs during storage in blood banks. She completed her Bachelors in Biology from Georgia State University in 2013, and joined Dr.Liu’s lab in 2015. Outside of research Mahathi plays many roles. Along with being a student, she is the manager of her laboratory. In addition, when she has the time her interests include reading, swimming, and playing board games.

Vice President: Phillip Philon, M.A.T. (Front, Right) – 

Phillip Philon is currently in the MBMS (Master’s in Biology Medical Sciences) program. As an undergraduate student at the University of Alabama-Birmingham (UAB), he completed his biology honors thesis under the leadership of Dr. Brain Sims, M.D./Ph.D. He presented his research at the Society for Neuroscience 2010 Conference, where he discussed the neuroprotective effect of melatonin via an amino acid transporter called cystine glutamate exchanger (xCT). After earning a B.S. in Biology at UAB, Phillip served as a 2011 Teach for America (TFA) Metro Atlanta Corps Member within the DeKalb County School District, where he taught 7th Grade Life Science. In 2013, he was recognized for leading 85% and 50% (42% increase from previous year) of his student to pass and exceed on Life Science CRCT (Criterion-Referenced Competency Test), respectively. Phillip aspires to become an interventional cardiologist after entering medical school in the Fall of 2020.

Event Coordinator 1: Christy To – 


My name is Christy To, and I am Event Coordinator 1 for BGSA. I am currently a Masters student in the Biology program with a focus in Cellular and Molecular Biology and Physiology. Further, I am a TA for Biology 2107, and I volunteer at Grady Hospital and Kindred Hospice in my free time. I am in Dr. Gilbert’s lab with the goal of creating a bioreactor module to compare the growth of E. Coli in aerobic and anaerobic conditions. My hobbies include running, playing video games (Tekken and Mortal Kombat), and going to EDM concerts.

Technical Chair: Shrikant Pawar – 

Shrikant is a fifth year Ph.D. candidate at Georgia State University. He graduated with a Masters in Bioinformatics in 2012 and a subsequent Masters in Computer Science in 2018 from GSU. His dissertation project in Weber and Harrison lab is focused on application of machine learning/bioinformatics techniques for studying drug resistance in HIV-1 and Staphylococcus aureus (Linkedin Profile). He is actively involved in teaching under-graduate labs, functional programming and software development workshops/seminars at Georgia tech (ATDC), Free side Atlanta and GSU. Currently, he is appointed as a technical chair to BGSA  leading most of the website, database, server administration and management.