our team

Current Members:

Lasya Vankayala
Founder, Editor-in-Chief, Site Manager

A 4th year Biochemistry Honours student at the University of British Columbia. 8 years of research experience in academia and industry with plans to pursue a PhD. Schulich Leader Scholar, UBC Schulich Captain and founder of COVID19 Demystified.

Ryan Chan
Author, Editor

Hi, my name is Ryan Chan, I’m a fourth-year biotechnology student at UBC. My lab experience is primarily in molecular genetics and neuroscience, but I have a passion for virology and experience in scientific communication. This, coupled with our current crisis, motivated me start writing these articles to help others understand COVID-19 and the scientific journey of unraveling its secrets.

M Manolya Sag
Author, Editor

A fourth-year Honours in Biotechnology student at the University of British Columbia. Has multiple years of research experience in academia and in government based agencies like the BC Centre for Disease Control and Prevention. Manolya has plans to pursue a PhD with a focus in viral pathogenesis and maybe even new emerging viruses, and cancer causing viruses.

Tristan Wild

I am a fourth-year student studying Microbiology and Immunology at Western University. My educational background combined with the experience of interning at Sanofi Pasteur, the world's largest vaccine manufacturer, has garnered my interest in infectious disease and medical interventions. It is my hope that the articles my fellow peers and I write give you, the reader, some well-needed understanding about the science that is often misrepresented on news and social media.

Jacob Fine
Jacob is an Honours Biology student at York University. He is currently an Associate Editor for the STEM Fellowship Journal, runs a small private tutoring service, is the Asadi-Lari Interdisciplinary Contest Lead at STEM Fellowship, and is the President and Founder of the Universe Discovery Project at York. He plays piano, drums, and loves philosophical discussions.
Dorothy Dinh

Hello! I am a recent graduate from the University of British Columbia with a double major in Biology and Food, Nutrition and Health. My research experience has been specifically concentrated in Neuroscience and Nutrition Science. Currently, I am a research assistant in a neuroscience lab, an editor for an environmental blog, a mental health awareness blogger and a piano teacher. However, I plan on pursuing higher education as I am interested in exploring other educational interests. In my spare time, I love trying new restaurants with my boyfriend and friends as well as road trips!

Demitri Evangeliou
Video Article Creator

Hi! My three years of study in Microbiology and Immunology at McGill University have fostered my interests in infectious diseases, vaccinology and scientific communication. McGill’s TEAM and TEACH awards have given me the privilege to enhance the quality of education in a variety of biomedical courses, spanning topics in molecular mechanisms of cell function, metabolic biochemistry, microbial physiology and fundamental virology. I aspire to be an infectious disease physician, and have a passion for philosophy as it arises in clinical practice (namely biomedical ethics). My favourite antibody is IgA2 for its underappreciated role in mucosal immunity, my favourite immunological concept is trained immunity for the role of memory in the innate response, and I don’t know what I would do without soccer in my life!

Zaif Dagamseh

I’m a filmmaker and visual producer from Jordan, telling unique audio-visual stories for everything from commercials, digital illustrations, ad art, to music videos and feature films.
My skills include directing, camera, lighting, photography, motion design, graphic design, comedy and improv (yes, and!).

Ayah AlAnsari
Author, Translator

A fourth year Microbiology and Immunology student at University of British Columbia with a strong interest in clinical work. Research experience in genetics and molecular biology. Excited to demystify the current coronavirus while learning more about it!

Past Members:

Ronin Cunningham

A 2nd Year Computer Science student at the University of British Columbia. Ronin enjoys making web and mobile apps to help others. He currently works as a Software Engineer at Trulioo.

Kayley Ting

Hello, and thanks for reading! My name is Kayley, I’m a 2nd year Biomedical Engineering student at the University of Waterloo. My work and extracurricular experiences have ranged from medical device development, to digital health technologies and bioengineering research. I am inspired by the work being done by medical researchers and innovators all around the world, and am excited to do my part in sharing their findings with you.

William Ding
Author, Translator

William Ding is a Second-Year student studying in the Bachelor of Medical Sciences with Scholar’s Electives at the University of Western Ontario. He is deeply intrigued by the research involving the fields of Microbiology, Immunology, and Biochemistry. William is honored to be able use his bilingual abilities to demystify the plaguing COVID-19 to the general public! During his studies at Western University, he has been involved in CRISPR Cas9 and T cell-related research and has participated in a summer internship at Johnson & Johnson.


William Ding目前就读于西安大略大学的医药科学与学者选修本科专业,对微生物,免疫学,以及生物化学领域的研究非常感兴趣。这次非常荣幸能够用双语为大众普及有关新冠病毒的科学知识!在大学求学期间,曾在实验室中从事对基因魔剪“CRISPR Cas9”以及T细胞的相关研究并曾在强生公司中参与过暑期实习工作。

Varoon Pornsinsiriruk

Varoon is a MSc candidate in the Department of Botany at the University of British Columbia, where he studies kelp ecophysiology. He strongly believes in the importance of science outreach and the promotion of scientific literacy in improving public perceptions of the value of scientific research.

Sameer Jafar
Author, Marketing

While at the University of Windsor, Sameer performed evolutionary genetics research and tRNA computational simulations. Since graduating, he has diversified his skillset and works as a film producer in Toronto.

Deanna Kim
Author, Editor

A third-year Molecular Genetics and Microbiology specialist at the University of Toronto with a deep passion for virology, immunology, and the gut microbiota. Broad repertoire of research experience grounded in both fundamental and clinical genetics, ranging from investigation of sex chromosome evolution in plants to genetic causes of the neurodegenerative disorder ALS. A strong interest in empowering others to approach life science with foundational knowledge and a critical eye.

Jamie Lee
Author, Editor

Yae Eun (Jamie) Lee is a recent graduate from McGill University with a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology&Immunology and minor in Education. Her strong passion for public health and health promotion has led her to complete internships at the WHO and Doctors Without Borders after her graduation. 

Annoj Thavalingam

Annoj is a research technician working at a biotech startup in Toronto. Having completed a Bachelor’s degree in Immunology and Master’s in Biochemistry, his research interests span both fields and everything in between. Outside of the lab, he serves as the editor of a community newspaper and enjoys playing retro video games.

Rafi Meher

A fourth year Integrated Sciences student at the University of British Columbia, with a focus on physiology and immunology. After hearing about the project, he quickly joined the team as he feels it it is important for the scientific community to make research easily available to everyone, regardless of educational backgrounds. During a pandemic situation, it is especially important to provide explanations that are clear and thorough, as crucial facts can be misrepresented in news, in social media, or by some public figures.

Vicky Chang

Vicky is a third-year student pursuing Medical Sciences and Psychology at Western University. She has lab experience primarily in the fields of public health and neuropsychology, but also has a deep passion for science communication.

Carol He
Editor (Simplified Chinese)

A first year medical student at the University of British Columbia, previously studying Pharmacology. An interest in clinical medicine, public health, and the translation of basic science research to medical practice.