Meet the AAAS Superheroes

Ireti Eni ​​is a fifth-year doctoral candidate at Meharry Medical College in the Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Physiology. Her research focuses on collagen turnover during wound healing events. She loves teaching and hopes to become a principal investigator and professor at an academic institution. She would like to help student members of the AAAS network and support each other.

Chris Bolden is a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston, TX. He has two science passions; the first passion is translational neuroscience and the mechanisms that affect cognition, the other science passion is science education. He loves educating people about the way science influences our day-to-day life. As part of his postdoc, he is currently working on a novel in vitro platform to study Traumatic Brain Injury which takes most of his time.

Ashley Wilkins is a second-year Ph.D. student at LSU Health - Shreveport. Her lab focuses on identifying the mechanisms that Legionella species (specifically L. pneumophila) utilizes to subvert the host's defense mechanisms allowing it to establish its intracellular niche for replication. Her project focuses on the role of cholesterol in this process. In the AAAS community, she would love to help collaborations and input from others in the field grow.


Kathryn Asalone is a fourth-year student in the Behavior, Cognition, and Neuroscience Ph.D. program at American University in DC. Although her program is in Neuroscience, her main science research focus is in genetics and computational genomics identifying sequences on the germline-restricted chromosome in zebra finch! She recently successfully defended her Master's Thesis and Ph.D. Dissertation Proposal. She is also passionate about building a stronger community for student and postdoc members of AAAS.



Lionel Robert, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in the School of Information (UMSI) at the University of Michigan and an AIS Distinguished Member. He completed his Ph.D. in Information Systems from Indiana University where he was a BAT Fellow and KPMG Scholar. As a Transportation Officer in the U.S. Army, he spent over 10 years on active and reserve duty. Currently, he is the director of the Michigan Autonomous Vehicle Research Intergroup Collaboration (MAVRIC) and also an affiliate of the University of Michigan Robotics Institute (Robotics), Center for Hybrid Intelligence Systems (HyIntS Center), and the National Center for Institutional Diversity (NCID) all at the University of Michigan and the Center for Computer-Mediated Communication (CCMC) at Indiana University. His passion is online collaboration and human interactions with autonomous systems.


Hannah Taylor is a fifth-year Ph.D. student in Biochemistry at Utah State University and mother to a one-year-old. She studies novel CRISPR systems, which bacteria use to defend themselves from phages. Her science passion is figuring out how things work at the cellular level, especially in microorganisms. She loves teaching scientific concepts to others and sharing what she knows.

Hailey Levi recently graduated from the University of California, Riverside getting her B.S. in Cell, Molecular, and Developmental Biology with a Minor in Education. She is now at the University of Alabama at Birmingham this coming fall working on her Ph.D. in Cell, Molecular, and Developmental Biology. She loves social media and is regularly on TikTok making videos about science for her younger brother and the next generations of scientists.


Lucia Speroni, Ph.D., is a scientist who has researched environmental effects on human health, such as the endocrine disruptor Bisphenol-A (BPA) which leaches from certain plastics. BPA can also affect marine life, so Lucia became a scientific SCUBA diver to look at this phenomenon more closely underwater, moving to Miami to explore the relationship between humans and marine habitats. She is also a scientific writer at Illumina where she works on the latest findings that use genome sequencing. In her spare time, she volunteers as a community educator with local non-profits discussing the effects of plastics, educating the public about solutions to avoid single-use plastics and keep trash out of our oceans and waterways. She co-hosts "Doctoras en Vivo" a live show every Monday on Instagram en Español inspiring curiosity about current and breakthrough events in science and technology.


Emerson Grey is a chemical engineering Ph.D. student at the University of Colorado Boulder. He is developing tiny polymer spheres to protect and deliver sensitive drugs to the lungs. The long-term goal of the project is to treat chronic inflammation that leads to tissue scarring, called fibrosis. Emerson supports incoming graduate students through his role as the mentorship chair of the department's Graduate Leadership Council. He is an aspiring science writer who has contributed articles to Massive Science, the National Association of Science Writers, and Science Buffs.



Adrian Tymes is passionate about getting technology and resources into the hands of those who will get good use out of it. (For example, his work for CubeCab can be thought of as, "What if every university - that has faculty and students who would actually use it - could afford its own space program, without having to ask for grants?") He is in the middle of developing a rocket (CubeCab's Cab-3A) to make academic satellites a lot more feasible, and also helping to make masks as part of the COVID-19 response.


Kristen Lear is a bat conservation scientist and environmental educator. She recently finished her Ph.D. in Integrative Conservation at the University of Georgia, where she focused on the conservation of endangered nectar-feeding bats in northeast Mexico. She now works as an endangered species specialist at Bat Conservation International. As an AAAS IF/Then Ambassador, she is passionate about science communication and outreach. She also stays active in the Skype a Scientist program and Nepris.