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Introducing the Bakar Ignite Scholars: Pioneering Undergraduates Shaping the Future of Research

Six undergraduate ignite scholars collage

By: Niki Borghei

In a world of rapidly growing scientific innovation and technology translation, there is a crucial need for talented individuals who can push the boundaries of knowledge and contribute to groundbreaking research that serves humanity’s needs for today and tomorrow. Recognizing the potential of undergraduate students, the Bakar Fellows Program is announcing the launch of a new program: the Bakar Ignite Scholars Program.

The Bakar Ignite Scholars Program is an initiative that connects undergraduate students with leading scientists in the Bakar Fellows Program to conduct research that supports their Bakar projects. After a competitive application process, selected students will receive a stipend of up to $5000 to work full-time over the summer for six weeks. Applications for part-time positions in Fall and Spring will open soon. 

Meet our Summer 2023 Bakar Ignite Scholars below!

Trinity Reimer

Trinity is an incoming senior majoring in Microbial Biology with an emphasis in Host-Pathogen interactions. She has a strong interest in biotechnology and microbiology. 

She hopes to start her own company focusing on either biotherapeutics like phage therapy or developing biological solutions for clean energy.  She leans towards starting her own biotech company because from a young age, her family instilled the importance of entrepreneurship, leadership, and strong work ethic. Having her own biotech company would bridge her passion for microbiology and business, and she hopes to commercialize her research findings and make biotechnology more accessible. 

Trinity loves spending time at the CMG lab because of the strong supportive environment and friendships she’s made. Outside of the lab, she likes teaching (she leads 2 DeCals, one emphasizing mentorship and the other focusing on healthcare accessibility). She also enjoys dancing, solving puzzles, picnicking, volunteering, and playing with her dog. On weekends, she enjoys trying new foods, hanging out with friends, and spending time with family.

Judy An

Judy is a fourth year student graduating in the winter with a degree in Molecular & Cellular Biology with an emphasis in Cell Biology, Development, & Physiology. Her areas of interest academically include autoimmune disease and clinical research. She hopes to pursue an MD-PhD to integrate aspects of both research and patient care together. A recent passion project of hers has been facilitating a discussion group for young scientists and engineers at Berkeley, where they read up on various recent news, scientific findings, and their implications on society. Topics range from cancer immunotherapy to AI-assisted surgery, and ethics of digital medicine. She currently works at the Vance lab on the innate immune response to both bacterial and viral pathogens.

Judy enjoys volunteering, watching Formula 1 racing, rock-climbing, studying at cafes, and video editing. She was a competitive national gymnast and competitive rower up until high school. Her love for sports has also made her conscious of her health and has helped cultivate her goal to pursue healthcare in hopes of helping other patients’ well-being. 

Anna Kroskrity

Anna is a rising junior at UC Berkeley who is majoring in Molecular Environmental Biology (MEB) with an emphasis in Environment and Human Health. Spending ample time outside and visiting National Parks growing up, she found herself curious about the “why” behind the processes that drive nature–humans included. She continues to carry this love for science and being a learner. Currently, she is exploring research relating to ferroptosis in cancer cells. She hopes to continue working to understand and characterize intracellular interactions that one day will be used to develop cancer therapeutics that have the potential to transform patients’ lives. 

Anna enjoys running and exploring the fire trails and different neighborhoods of Berkeley. In addition to playing with an IM Ultimate Frisbee team, she loves hiking, backpacking, spending quality time with friends, and music/art. She was classically trained in the cello and played in school orchestras for nine years. She also casually plays the guitar, banjo, mandolin, and bass.

Junyi Bao

Junyi Bao is an undergraduate student at Tsinghua University and an international student at UC Berkeley. She is a recipient of the National Scholarship, and her research interests lie in computer vision, computer graphics, and machine learning. For the long term, she would like to propose methods to resolve real-life tasks of sequential 3D human estimation and generation. 

 Junyi is a member of the THU-iOS Club, a student community of software development, and the Entrepreneur and Executive Club, founded by alumni entrepreneurs to promote innovation in high-tech industries. She is also a player on the university’s softball team and the handball team. She is passionate about photography and digital art.