PI: Dr. Paula Hammond and Dr. Joelle Straehla

PhD Student

Bachelor of Science in Bioengineering, University of California, Riverside

Kimberly is a PhD Student in the Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology program. She received her B.S. in Bioengineering with Honors from the University of California, Riverside. She is currently co-advised by Dr. Paula Hammond and Dr. Joelle Straehla, and works on developing new nanocarriers to treat pediatric brain tumors. As a the first in her family to go to college and a first generation Mexican-American, Kimberly is passionate about mentoring other disadvantaged students and helping them navigate STEM/academia.


  • Bennett, Kimberly; Surles-Zeigler, Monique; Augello, Catherine; Ako, Etchi; Rodgers, Victor; and Ford, Byron. (2021). Upregulation of CREB1 and FOXO1 transcription factor pathways in Neuregulin-1 mediated neuroprotection following ischemic stroke. DOI: 10.1101/2021.11.17.468955
  • Bennett, Kimberly; Augello, Catherine; Cardullo, Richard; Rodgers, Victor; and Ford, Byron (2021). Transcriptomic Analysis of Molecular Mechanisms of Neuroprotection by Neuregulin-1 Following Ischemic Stroke. UC Riverside: University Honors. Retrieved from


  • MIT-Sloan Scholar – August 2021
  • Valedictorian – May 2017
  • Chancellor’s Scholar – September 2017
  • Howard H Hays Research Scholar – November 2019
  • Honors Residential & Excellence Scholar – April 2018, 2019, 2020
  • Bourns Family Foundation Scholar – June 2019, 2020
  • MESA Edison Scholar – June 2020
  • Tau Beta Pi Scholar – June 2020
  • NIH MARC U-STAR Undergraduate Research Fellow – July 2020
  • Tau Beta Pi Grant Recipient – September 2020
  • ABRCMS Presentation Award in Computational and Systems Biology – November 2020
  • Cum Laude – June 2021
  • Tau Beta Pi Fellowship – August 2021