Meet the GFLI@MIT Officers!

Executive Board

Kimberly Bennett (she/her)

GFLI@MIT Co-Founder and Co-President

Kimberly is a PhD Candidate in the Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology program with a technical concentration in Biological Engineering. She is co-advised between Dr. Paula Hammond and Dr. Joelle Straehla to develop new drug delivery strategies for pediatric brain tumors. Kimberly grew up low-income in a rural desert town in California, and is both a first-gen college graduate (B.S. Bioengineering from University of California, Riverside) and first-gen Mexican-American. She is dedicated to empowering first-gen students from low-resource communities and making the path to academia more accessible to those from nontraditional backgrounds. Kimberly is also a HHMI Gilliam Fellow, Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellow, NSF GRFP Recipient, Tau Beta Pi Fellow, and a MIT-Sloan UCEM/PEM Scholar.

Email: kbenn [at]

Diana Grass (she/her)

GFLI@MIT Co-Founder and Co-President

Diana is a PhD student in the Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology program. She was born and raised in Colombia. In the Bioelectronics Lab at MIT, her research focuses on the intersection of neuroscience, neuroimmunology, neuroimaging, and neurotechnology. She is passionate about global health, equity in education, and leveraging innovation to catalyze social and economic development in low resource areas. She is also a part of the MIT-Sloan UCEM/PEM program and is a NIH Neuroimaging Fellow. When not conducting research, she enjoys exploring new places, trying new foods, playing games with loved ones, and pursuing hobbies such as cooking, photography, painting, and cycling.

Email: dgrass [at]

Davy Deng (he/they)

GFLI@MIT Co-Founder and Co-President

Davy is a PhD student in the Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology program with a concentration in computer science. Davy is interested in the intersection of machine learning and cancer evolution and is a passionate advocate for global humanitarian medicine. Davy grew up around the Gobi and later the Ordos Desert in China. After high school, he made the leap to move to the US alone and graduated from UC Berkeley as a first-gen low-income student. He is also a proud member of LGBTQ+ community (pronouns he/they).

Email: davy [at]

Officer Board

Richard Van (he/him)

GFLI@MIT Alumni Relations Chair

Richard is a third-year PhD candidate in the MIT Biology program studying T cell responses against lung cancer and how to boost them with immunotherapy.

Email: rvan [at]

Ozioma Ozor-Ilo (she/her)

GFLI@MIT Community Programming Chair

Ozioma is a second-year PhD student in the MIT Mechanical Engineering program study haptic technology particularly wetness perception. She is a GEM Employer Fellow sponsored by LAM Research.

Email: oozorilo [at]

Eileen Pan (she/her)

GFLI@MIT Undergraduate Relations Co-Chair

Eileen is a Electrical Engineering and Computer Science PhD student at MIT. She grew up hopscotching between Southern China and California, attending three separate high schools before starting at MIT for undergrad. She believes that AI should be for everyone, and focuses on designing socially-aware training and evaluation processes that are more equitable. She also believes that prioritizing mental health and personal wellbeing, particularly as first-generation students, are crucial to long-term success. Eileen is a previous Questbridge Scholar and currently a Jameel Clinic Fellow and NSF Graduate Research Fellow.

Email: eileenp [at]

Parisa Yousefpour, PhD (she/her)

GFLI@MIT Undergraduate Relations Co-Chair

Parisa is a postdoc at the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT. Working with Prof. Darrell Irvine, her research centers on integrating synthetic biology and immune-engineering approaches with the aim of enhancing RNA therapeutics. Parisa was born and grew up in Iran. She relocated to the United States to pursue a Ph.D. at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. Parisa strives to support students from underrepresented and underserved backgrounds and believes that education is not just about acquiring knowledge, but rather a transformative journey that has the power to redefine the course of one’s life. When not in lab, she can be found hanging out with friends, playing board games, or strolling along the Charles River.

Email: pyousef [at]

Advisory Board

Bianca Lepe (she/they)

GFLI@MIT Co-Founder and Advisor

Bianca is a final year PhD Candidate in Biological Engineering. Her research focuses on computational vaccine design for Tuberculosis and engineering genetic tools to study Mtb-phagosome interactions. Bianca is passionate about empowering and advocating for underrepresented folks in higher education. She is also a scholar in the MIT-Sloan UCEM/PEM program. In her free time, she enjoys reading, hiking, traveling, and spending time with friends.

Email: blepe [at]