Since 2016, we have led the effort to advocate for evidence-based policies that advance science and safeguard public health. Our participants include graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, healthcare professionals, and faculty.

Our Mission

  • Develop science policy coverage and commentary that promotes civic engagement and policy literacy in scientists

  • Create training, tool-kits, and science communications resources for our research advocates

  • Coordinate advocacy events around the STEM legislative agenda at both the local and federal level

  • Engage with science policy, advocacy, and communication professionals via an invited speaker series

  • Provide career development opportunities for trainees in science policy and advocacy


What We've ADVOCATED FOR

In March 2018, JHSPG Advocacy Chair Leah Cairns partnered with our state’s largest health care consumer coalition, The Maryland Citizens Health Initiative, for an Advocacy Day in Annapolis regarding a state-level Drug Price Commission Bill

In March 2018, JHSPG Advocacy Chair Leah Cairns partnered with our state’s largest health care consumer coalition, The Maryland Citizens Health Initiative, for an Advocacy Day in Annapolis regarding a state-level Drug Price Commission Bill


  • Federal research funding (NIH/NSF)

  • Ethical considerations of gene-editing technology

  • 21st Century Cures Act

  • Opposition to the ‘grad tax’

  • Climate change

  • Expanded healthcare access



our team

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Brittany avin

PRESIDENT

I'm a PhD candidate in the Biochemistry, Cellular and Molecular Biology program at the School of Medicine. My research focuses on the molecular mechanism of cancer activation, specifically in thyroid cancer. As a cancer survivor, I am actively involved in advocacy and cancer education in the community to help close the gap between scientists, clinicians, and patients. Outside of work, I enjoy watching football, exploring new places, and walks around the Harbor.

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Paris Washington

ADVOCACY CHAIR

I am a PhD student in the Human Genetics program where my research focuses on hypothalamic development. Encouraging and accommodating diversity requires more than the mere presence of minority and systematically oppressed individuals. True diversity requires the building of a safe and respectful environment that regards history, current events, and cultural contexts. I am extremely excited to bring these views to the position of Advocacy Chair. Politically, my interests relate to health care access and scientific education/curriculum development, particularly in under-served communities. Outside of work, I love to dance and write.

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Bernat Navarro Serer

SOCIAL MEDIA CHAIR

I'm a PhD candidate in the Cellular and Molecular Medicine Program at the School of Medicine. My research focuses on 3D models of pancreatic cancer and their molecular pathways of invasion. Outside of lab, I am involved in science advocacy and education, with healthcare affordability and healthcare disparities in the LGBTQ+ community as my main interests. In my free time I enjoy walking on the beach, learning languages (Italian at the moment!), and traveling!

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Brady Goulden

CITY HALL POSTER CHAIR

I am a first year PhD student in the Biochemistry, Cellular and Molecular Biology program with the School of Medicine. My research is focused on characterizing the lipids involved with synaptic vesicle recycling in neurons. In addition to my research, I am passionate about engaging with members of the public and government to create interest and understanding on the importance of science. In my free time I enjoy playing tennis and volleyball or trying a new board game with friends.

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Talia Henkle

MEMBER-AT-LARGE

I’m a PhD candidate in Immunology at the School of Medicine and my lab’s research focuses on developing immunotherapies for HPV-associated cancers. I became interested in science policy because, although the vast majority of HPV-associated cancers are preventable by the Gardasil® vaccine, due to ineffective policy, vaccine uptake rates are much lower than necessary to prevent future cancer deaths. I am currently actively involved in science advocacy, and after my PhD I see myself working on international vaccine policy. In my free time I enjoy socializing, traveling, and horseback riding!