Find here pictures and bios of current members of the RIPLRT, pictures of past members, and interviews with current and past members, as well as with our PI Dr. Rivera-Mariani.

Current members of the RIPLRT

Dr. Rivera-Mariani Dr. Félix E. Rivera-Mariani (Principal Investigator):

Dr. Rivera-Mariani, Assistant Professor and Academic Director in the College of Biomedical Sciences at Larkin University, is an expert immunologist, microbiologist, aerobiologist, and computational biologist. At Larkin University, Dr. Rivera-Mariani, in addition to carrying out scientific research, teaches biochemistry, immunology, and molecular genetics. Among the academic credentials of Dr. Rivera-Mariani include a B.S. in Biology with a minor in Chemistry (Southeastern Louisiana University under an athletic scholarship), Ph.D. in Microbiology and Medical Zoology (School of Medicine of the University of Puerto Rico - Medical Sciences Campus), post-doctoral fellowship in Environmental Health Sciences (the Bloomberg School of Public Health of the Johns Hopkins University), and Science Teaching Fellowship (American Society for Microbiology).

Dr. Rivera-Mariani is also a strong supporter of reproducibility in sciences and thus has gained specializations in Data Science, Genomic Data Sciences, Executive Data Science, Software Development (Johns Hopkins University), Systems Biology (Icahn School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai), and Bioinformatics (University of California at San Diego). Through these specializations, Dr. Rivera-Mariani has developed extensive experience as a programmer in the R, Python, and Matlab computer languages.

At Larkin University, Dr. Rivera-Mariani seeks to mentor students and young researchers in the different pipelines and epicycles of scientific research, and through the RIPL Effect team provide further insight into the immunotoxicology of airborne pollutants of different chemical origins. He has published extensively in this line of research (click here for additional information).

Click here to view Dr. Rivera-Mariani’s interview.

Click here to view Dr. Rivera-Mariani’s C.V.


Ariel Stateman Ariel Stateman (Research Assistant - Intern)

Ariel recently graduated from the M.S. in Biomedical Sciences program at Larkin University. Before joining Larkin, Ariel earned a B.S. in Molecular and Cellular Biology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. There, she participated in scientific research- studying the sensing in lean and obese individuals through rats. She has an extensive experience in clinical observations from her internships at Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana, IL. Among her prospective professional plans, she hopes to earn her doctorate degree.

Ariel's trayectory in the RIPLRT dates back to the very beginnings of the RIPLRT (back then the RIPLRG) just after Dr. Rivera-Mariani joined the Larkin University community. While being a graduate student at the College of Biomedical Sciences at Larkin University, together with Josh (refer to Josh bio), she was the co-leader of the our research group (now the RIPL_Effect Research Team).


Bhavikkumar Patel Bhavikkumar Patel (Graduatee Student)

Bhavik grew up in Anaheim, California, where he attended University of California, Irvine. After completing his Bachelor’s degree in History and Premedicine, he worked at United Healthcare/Optum Rx in the Specialty Pharmacy Department. He has also worked at the Remedy Pharm compounding pharmacy, specializing in hormone replacement therapy. He is currently enrolled in the Masters Program at Larkin School of Biomedical Sciences and has volunteered at various community centers such as UCI Medical Center, Lestonnac Free Clinic and Miami Rescue Missions Clinic. He truly believes in serving the underserved communities and uplifting their lives through various types of aid. His goal is to attend Medical School in the future and wants to provide medical aid in the underserved parts of our nation. Apart from academics, he enjoys running, sports, reading, and playing music.

Click here to view Ruslan’s interview.


Hayat Srour Hayat Srour (Research Assistant and Lab Manager)

Hayat, from Detroit, Michigan, is also a graduate from the M.S. in Biomedical Sciences program at Larkin University. Before joining Larkin, she earned a B.A. in Anthropology from Wayne State University (Detroit, Michigan). Her interest in scientific research stems from her passion for medicine and philanthropy. Among her diverse goals, she aspires to become a physician that actively works toward global equality.

Hayat's leadership dates back to the beginnigs of the RIPLRT (back then the RIPLRG). When the group was created, Hayat was assigned the task of being the spokesperson of the group. Her leadership was also employed as a student representative in the Advisory Committee of the M.S. in Biomedical Sciences program at Larkin University. Therefore, it is no surprise that her peers fully support her being the Lab Manager of the RIPLRT.

Click here to view Hayat’s interview.

Click here to view Hayat’s C.V.


Joshua Baguley Joshua Baguley (Research Assistant - Intern)

Josh grew up in Indonesia and then moved to Waco, Texas where he attended Baylor University to complete a B.S. in Biochemistry. He spent the majority of his time at Baylor working as an undergraduate researcher, specializing in DNA manipulation and protein purification. His work in the lab mainly focused on the functions and effects of replication factors MCM8, MCM9, Dpo1, and Dpo4 on the DNA replisome. Joshua was also a member of the Baylor Volleyball club team. Joshua is also a recent graduate of the M.S. in Biomedical Sciences program at Larkin University.

Josh, as mentioned in Ariel's trayectory, was the other co-leader of the group. His leadership was evident from the beginning (even before launching the research group), as well as when addressing different challenging situations within the group. We are proud of Josh recently starting a position in the Genomics Department at MD Anderson Cancer Center, in Houston Texas. Nevertheless, his scientific heart still linked to the RIPLRT.

Click here to view Josh’s interview.


Ruslan Fomentko Ruslan Fomenko (Research Assistant - Intern)

Ruslan, also a recent graduate of the M.S. in Biomedical Sciences from Larkin University, grew up in Kazakhstan and moved Virginia Beach, Virginia during his high school years. He later graduated from Christopher Newport University with a B.S. in Cellular and Molecular Biology with a Psychology minor, and later from Larkin University with a M.S. in Biomedical Sciences. In addition to volunteering in various clinical environments, Ruslan also took part in an internship at Patient First (chain of patient care centers) as a licensed phlebotomist. His undergraduate research was focused on the antioxidant and antimicrobial properties of drought and salt-stressed Rosmarinus officinalis plants.

Ruslan emergence as a researcher has been evident in the group. In addition to being one of the phlebotomist of the RIPLRT (yes, we work with human tissues and body fluids), Ruslan has been very active in different projects within RIPLRT.

Click here to view Ruslan’s interview.

Click here to view Ruslan’s C.V.


Shandra Bellinger Shandra Bellinger (Research Assistant - Intern)

Shandra, originally from Maryland, received her B.S. in Biology from Frostburg State University. During her undergraduate studies, she held multiple positions on various leadership boards and made the Dean's list numerous times. She has spent a considerable amount of time working in clinical environments, such as the Emergency Department and volunteering at the University of Maryland Medical Center, Shock Trauma. Though she enjoys the clinical environment, she is excited to venture into scientific research allowing her curiosity of how the human body works and is affected. She recently graduated from the M.S. in Biomedical Science program at Larkin University and plans to continue working and volunteering in the healthcare field to help uplift the community and make changes where and when it’s possible. Her goal is to attend Medical School in the future.

Shandra's attention to detail is one among her many contributions to the RIPLRT. For this reason, when we were the RIPLRG, Shandra was assigned the task of being the Lead Editor, which included revising reports, our websites, among other publications from our research group. Not least important are her leadership and maturity, which have serve as examples to many students at Larkin University.

Click here to view Shandra’s interview.

Click here to view Shandra’s C.V.


Summer Pellechio Summer Pellechio (Research Assistant, beginning on March 2019)

Summer recently graduated from the Rochester Institute of Technology (Rochester, NY) with a B.S. Biomedical Sciences. She originally matriculated as an Industrial Design student, seeking a people-oriented career that would integrate her empathy and creative thinking. Her ambition to meaningfully utilize these strengths moved her to healthcare sciences and to aspire to become a Physician Assistant. She has clinical experience with patients, working as an EMT in the city of Rochester, NY and for RIT’s collegiate EMS agency, where she’s served as the Training Director. She’s also a certified phlebotomist. Her undergraduate lab work focused on the frequencies of anergic gene polymorphisms associated with innate and adaptive immune responses in sickle cell disease populations. She feels fortunate that her strong work ethic and curiosity have led her to join the RIPL Effect Research Team.

Click here to view Summer’s interview.

Click here to view Sumnmer’s C.V.


Past members of the RIPLRT

Past members of the RIPL_Effect


Interviews with current and past members of the RIPL_Effect


To contact the RIPL_Effect Research Team,   click here!.

College of Biomedical Sciences at Larkin University

© 2018 RIPL_Effect Research Team. The content of this website is authored by the RIPL_Effect Research Team, and is revised and edited by the RIPL_Effect Research Team. The content of this website reflect the views of the authors and is not a publication of Larkin University, which bears no responsibility for the content found in this website.