Peer Mentors

A set of four to six junior and senior MB&B majors serve as peer mentors for students who are considering or entering the MB&B major.  Peer mentors can give fellow students a sense of the experience of majoring in MB&B and practical advice on navigating the requirements and electives in our program. Peer mentors offer advice on which classes to take, experiences to consider and anything pertaining to the major. They can provide advice on how to take advantage of the many academic resources available to you, such as peer tutors, college tutors, teaching fellows, faculty office hours, etc.  Peer mentors also host informal community-building get-togethers in the department for prospective and current majors.  If you have not yet declared an MB&B major and want to be invited to these events, please email

Please note that peer mentors supplement the MB&B faculty academic advisors.  You should meet one of the faculty advisors to discuss details of the MB&B degree requirements, to get your schedule or other official forms signed, and to get faculty-level advice on things like setting up an independent research experience, planning a scientific career, etc.

Peer mentors for 2023-2024 are:

Rafaela Kottou,, Class of 2024, Pauli Murray College

Rafaela is interested in quantitative biology and computational modeling of biochemical processes. She conducts research in the Emonet Lab, exploring bacterial chemotaxis as a means of understanding diversity within heterogeneous populations given dynamic chemical environments. Rafaela is also pursuing a second major in English and, in her free time, she enjoys editing for the Yale Herald and writing for the YDN.

Arianny Acosta,, Class of 2024, Trumbull College

I’m a rising junior in Trumbull College. I’m interested in using the biochemistry of disease to develop therapeutics, especially as it relates to immunology. I’m also part of the Sidi Chen lab, where I do cancer immunotherapy research, specifically focused on how metabolic reprogramming of CAR-T cells can be used to enhance their function. I’m also a member of Yale Helix and a peer mentor for STARS I. In my free time, I enjoy playing squash and reading.

Maggie Hankins,, Class of 2024, Trumbull College

Maggie is a junior majoring in MB&B with a concentration in medicine. She’s passionate about using science communication to reduce health inequities and making academia feel more inclusive and diverse. She is a part of the Miranker Lab, where she focuses on preparing ancient DNA for genetic sequencing and conducts analysis following sequencing. Outside of class, Maggie spends her time teaching New Haven high schoolers through the Peabody’s Evolutions program, showing off her athletic prowess in Yale Club Jump Rope, and volunteering at the HAVEN free clinic. 


Hannah Barsouk,, Class of 2025, Morse College

I am a junior in Morse College and B.S./M.S. candidate in MB&B. I conduct research at the Breaker Lab exploring the role of non-coding RNAs in stress response and regulation of gene expression in bacteria, and plan to pursue a PhD in biochemistry after graduation. I am also a peer tutor for MB&B biochemistry and am involved with Public School Interns (PSI) with Dwight Hall and the Yale Science Magazine. I would love to chat if you have any questions about the B.S./M.S. program, grad school, extracurriculars, or blue booking!

Faith Pena,, Class of 2025, Ezra Stiles College