Graduate School of Medical Sciences
A partnership with the Sloan Kettering Institute

Science & Education Policy Association (SEPA)

The Science & Education Policy Association is a student-run organization founded at the Tri-I aiming to facilitate the interaction between scientists and the world of science policy. Scientists are uniquely qualified to speak on science-related issues, both to advocate on behalf of science research and to communicate how science is beneficial to the public good. Bringing scientists to the forefront of these conversations will lead to more informed policies.

Within the Tri-I and broader NYC community, SEPA aims to:

    1. Educate scientists on the intersection of science and policy
    2. Explore science or education policy as a career path
    3. Train scientists to communicate to non-scientific audiences for advocacy and general public outreach



SEPA Leadership

WCM Co-Chair: Christina Kling (she/her)
PhD Candidate at Weill Cornell Medicine

Christina is a PhD Candidate at Weill Cornell Medicine studying the mechanism of action of a suppressor of FUS toxicity in a yeast model of ALS. Christina is interested in making connections between sectors, including academia, government, and people, to further a science-informed agenda that puts people first.


WCM Co-Chair: Amanda Acosta-Ruiz (she/her)
PhD Candidate at Weill Cornell Medicine

Amanda is a PhD Candidate at Weill Cornell Medicine studying the role of glutamate receptors in the brain, specifically in learning and memory formation. Within science policy, Amanda is interested in developing opportunities for scientists to engage with policymakers and develop data-driven policies for the benefit of society.


Rockefeller Co-chair: Victoria Schneider (she/her)
PhD Candidate at Rockefeller University

Tori is a PhD candidate at Rockefeller University, doing a co-mentorship between Rockefeller and Weill Cornell. She is studying the effects of metabolism on antigenic gene expression in malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum.


Event Coordinator: Katherine Lopez (she/her)
PhD Candidate at Weill Cornell Medicine

Katherine is a PhD Candidate at Weill Cornell Medicine studying the principles of environmentally induced epigenetic adaptations and the behavioral manifestations.


Finance Coordinator: Irene Duba (she/her)
PhD Candidate, Rockefeller University

Irene is a PhD student in the lab of Viviana Risca at Rockefeller, studying genome organization and the proteins that drive chromatin compaction.


Finance Coordinator: Tanya Jain (she/her)
PhD Candidate, Weill Cornell/Memorial Sloan Kettering

Tanya is a PhD candidate in the lab of Yueming Li at MSK, studying the roles of microglia in the neuroinflammation caused in the Alzheimer’s brain. Outside of the lab, she is interested in SciArt, and is currently exploring the world of SciPol through SEPA.


NYC Coordinator: Mitchell Martin (he/his)
PhD Candidate at Weill Cornell Medicine

Mitchell is a PhD candidate in the lab of Dr. Vivek Mittal, working on deciphering the tumor and immune microenvironment of early stage Non-small Cell Lung Cancer.


Communications Coordinator: Elizabeth Zale (she/her)
PhD Candidate at Weill Cornell Medicine

Elizabeth Zale is a PhD student studying Immunology at Weill Cornell Medicine and Memorial Sloan Kettering in New York City. Previously, she obtained a B.A. in Biological Sciences from the University of Chicago. Her interests lie at the intersection of research science and social justice.


For more information, please visit at or contact us at

Need more info?
Ask a question
Follow us on

Weill Cornell Medicine Graduate School of Medical Sciences 1300 York Ave. Box 65 New York, NY 10065 Phone: (212) 746-6565 Fax: (212) 746-8906