Alyza Skaist Szanzer '00-'03

When did you attend Hillel Academy?  2000-2003
Share a favorite memory or two with our readers? - When I was in 11th grade my class attended the Bais Yaakov convention in Montreal and the high school production.
What organizations are you currently involved in? - My shul's sisterhood.

How do you earn a living? - I work at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine doing biomedical research. Specifically, I analyze genetic data in the field of cancer research.
Can you go into greater detail, please. Our DNA is the genetic material that is the information that governs all the processes that occur in all organisms. Changes in the DNA will affect the outcome of protein function in the cell that accounts for variation in the population, for example, height or eye color in different people. However, sometimes such variation may cause disease. We call these mutations, structural variations or differences in gene expression. Many scientists are searching for such changes in order to understand the disease process and hopefully, find a therapy for such diseases. Large-scale experiments are performed that generate a lot of data that must be analyzed by me, a bioinformatician. That is a scientist trained in both the biology and computer science necessary to make sense of the data. I have worked on such projects in cancer, HIV, malaria and TB to name a few.  

Wow, sounds fascinating. Thanks for sharing! :)
How did Hillel Academy prepare you for the future? I learned a lot, but the biggest lesson I learned was ahavas hatorah and to take the lessons we learned in class and apply it to better ourselves.

Share some information about your family. I have two girls, Shana is two and Daniella is 10 months. We live in Baltimore, but I am still a Bucs fan.

Good to hear you kept your allegiance to the Buccos. That bodes well here at the Hillel Happenings. 
What do you do in your free time? We go to the Baltimore Zoo and I enjoy crocheting.

Hillel Trivia - How many parking spaces in the lot? 25

Well done! Did you count on Google Maps or do you just have a good memory? 
Who was your first Hillel teacher? I started Hillel in the 10th grade so I can't say I had a first teacher.

What was your favorite class? Mrs. Langsner's math class.

Did you have a favorite teacher? Who was it and why? Though I never had him as a teacher, Rabbi Skaist for obvious reasons.

Most interesting person in your cell phone contacts?
 Two noble prize winners Carol Grieder (top-photo) and Peter Agre(middle-photo) and one of TIME magazine's top 100 most influential people Debbie Persaud, (bottom photo).

Cool, how are you connected to these individuals? 
I collaborated with them on various projects. 
Thanks for your time!