News

Announcing the 2022 Cohort of ASSURE Fellows

The Anesthesiology Summer Research (ASSURE) Fellowship Program launched in August 2020 to provide a diverse range of college students from the St. Louis metro area with an opportunity to engage in basic, clinical, and translational research projects. One of the larger goals of the research fellowship program is to build a pipeline of bright and undiscovered talents within the St. Louis region, many of whom may not otherwise have had an opportunity to work in research, and to attract those individuals to Washington University School of Medicine.

The Department of Anesthesiology is excited to introduce the 2022 cohort of ASSURE fellows:

Ananda Dent
Institution: Harris-Stowe State University
Interests: Clinical Research

Ananda Dent is currently a senior at Harris-Stowe State University, studying biology with an emphasis in pre-med. She will graduate in spring 2023 and plans to attend medical school with the hopes of one day becoming a dermatologist. During her collegiate years, Ananda has participated in the Dr. Thelma V. Cook Leadership Institute, Harris-Stowe State University Biology Club, and Harris-Stowe State University NAACP Chapter. In her free time, she enjoys reading, hanging out with family, and shopping.

Joel Hanns
Institution: University of Missouri—St. Louis
Interests: Clinical and Basic Research

Joel Hannsis currently a senior at the University of Missouri — Saint Louis, studying biology and psychology with plans to pursue a Medical Scientist Training Program after graduation to receive his MD/PhD. His goal is to practice patient care with an emphasis on underserved communities and promote an inclusive environment to eliminate the barriers to receiving medical care— all while conducting cutting-edge research in the field. While attending UMSL, Joel has participated in the Lingua Club, Pre-Med Society, and Undergraduate Research in the Chubiz Lab. He also has experience as a Medical Assistant (Casa de Salud), Physician Facilitator (Total Access Urgent Care), Pharmacy Technician (Dierbergs), and Laboratory Assistant (WUSM Dept. of Neurology).

Jordan Pippin
Institution: Harris-Stowe State University
Interests: Basic Research

Jordan Pippin is currently a junior at Harris-Stowe State University, studying biology (pre-med track). Jordan’s recent research at HSSU studied the effects of CBD oil on sleep physiology in adult drosophila—this study was published in the 2020 National Science Foundation program booklet. She is interested in studying addiction diseases and hopes to conduct more research on the brain — specifically examining the molecular targets and certain molecules that are expressed in certain neuronal pathways that fuel addiction. Jordan is currently a medical scribe at Saint Louis University Hospital in the Emergency Department. In her free time, she enjoys getting her nails done & going out to eat. She loves to try new foods.

Fatouma Sam
Institution: Lindenwood University
Interests: Clinical and Basic Research

Fatouma Sam is currently a sophomore at Lindenwood University, studying biology (pre-med track) and political science. Fatouma was born in Senegal on the west coast of Africa and moved to the U.S. at the age of 11. She works at Lindenwood’s Center for Diversity and Inclusion and has developed a passion for providing health care to people of all races, genders & ethnicities. She looks forward to one day attending medical school and changing the narrative by helping to open the door for younger generations of women in medicine.

Brittany Smith
Institution: Harris-Stowe State University
Interests: Clinical and Basic Research

Brittany Smith received her Associate’s Degree in Exercise Science from Robert Morris University in Chicago, and is now a senior at Harris-Stowe State University where she is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Biology-Occupational Therapy and is involved in the Biology Club, Pre-Occupational Therapy Club, MOLSAMP internship, Generation Action with Planned Parenthood, and TRIO. She recently completed a project with her biology professor dealing with DNA (23andMe) and learning about her ancestry, and she fell in love with research and putting pieces of her life together. Upon graduation from HSSU, she hopes to attend WashU to obtain her Master of Occupational Therapy.

Amber Williams
Institution: Harris-Stowe State University
Interests: Clinical Research

Amber Williams is currently a senior at Harris-Stowe State University and will be graduating with a degree in biology this May. She plans to spend a year getting hands-on clinical experience at the hospital before medical school in the fall of 2023. Amber is passionate about biomedical research. Her latest research in Dr. Horrell’s lab at HSSU focuses on amplifying a Hem1 (Hemoglobin/tetrahymena) gene using PCR while wanting to clone the gene into a vector. She hopes to further study the gene and make knockouts or tags of the gene with YFP (fluorescent tag) to see where it works in the cell. In her free time, Amber enjoys reading books, watching Chicago Med, and doing community service work.


Under the mentorship of a Department of Anesthesiology faculty member, ASSURE fellows will work on projects in a lab or clinical setting, meet with mentors, attend journal clubs, engage in professional development opportunities, receive assistance with graduate school preparation planning, and gain valuable research experience.

The ASSURE executive committee and the advisory board would like to congratulate the incoming fellows and thank all excellent applicants on behalf of the Department of Anesthesiology.