PBJ Executive Board

Claire Fishman


Claire is a junior from Fort Washington, Pennsylvania majoring in Biological Basis of Behavior and Chemistry and minoring in Hispanic Studies. She first developed an interest in bioethics in high school and joined PBJ during her first semester at Penn. She is now most passionate about the clinical implications of bioethics and hopes to utilize what she has learned in PBJ in her future career. Outside of PBJ, Claire is the president of the Penn chapter of the Foundation for International Medical Relief of Children (FIMRC), a brother of Alpha Phi Omega, a research assistant in a Physiology Lab at the Perelman School of Medicine, and enjoys volunteering at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. 


Emma Balaanemma balaan

Managing Editor

Emma is a freshman from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania studying Biological Basis of Behavior and hoping to pursue minors in Bioethics and Hispanic Studies. She joined PBJ in her first semester at Penn after developing an interest in bioethics in high school. Within bioethics, she is particularly fascinated by neuroethics and health policies. Other than PBJ, Emma is involved with GlobeMed at Penn and volunteers as a tutor for Puentes Hacia el Futuro (Bridges to the Future) in South Philadelphia. In her free time she enjoys playing cello, reading Oliver Sacks books, and biking (in moderation).


Carolyn Chow

Managing EditorCarolyn Chow

Carolyn Chow is a freshman from Farmington Hills, Michigan who plans to study Biological Basis of Behavior with a minor in Bioethics in the College. The dilemmas of bioethics have piqued her interest since learning about embryo screening in high school biology. On a less serious note, Carolyn’s favorite movie is Gattaca, which she esteems for both its entertainment value and its imaginative and thought-provoking consideration of the consequences of embryo screening and genome editing technologies. Carolyn is also interested in ethical issues in dementia and end-of-life care. PBJ aside, Carolyn is involved in MEDLIFE Penn and her church community. Among her favorite things are playing piano, discussing culture and ideas, and good Asian food.


Rebecca Gelfer

Managing Editor
Rebecca Gelfer is a sophomore at the University of Pennsylvania studying Biochemistry and Chemistry in the Vagelos Molecular Life Sciences program. After studying bioethics in high school through debate, she wanted to continue learning about the field when she came to college and is now a Managing Editor for PBJ! Aside from PBJ, she’s a board member for Penn For Youth Debate, and an active member of the Women in Science honor society and Penn Democrats. She spends her free time researching in her lab at Smilow, reading classical Russian novels, and eating yogurt.


Josh Glahn

Managing EditorJosh Glahn

Josh is a junior at Penn studying English with an individualized concentration in Narrative Bioethics. Josh is interested in the ways illness and healthcare impact the ways people understand their personal stories, especially in light of historical and religious influences. Outside of PBJ, he is Co-Chair of the Scholar-In-Residence Committee of the Orthodox Community at Penn (OCP), Director of the Yeshiva Inclusion Project (YIP), and does research into the clinical applications of adipose-derived stem cells in fat grafting and reconstructive surgery. Josh is an avid lover of kittens and makes a mean bowl of Wacky Mac.


Nicolas Sarmiento

Managing EditorNicolas Sarmiento

Nicolas is a freshman in the College majoring in Biological Basis of Behavior and minoring in Bioethics. He was born in Cali, Colombia, but lived in South Florida for most of his life. He became interested in bioethics during the summer before his senior year of high school, when he attended a program at the University of Notre Dame focused on the integration of science and ethics. He is most interested in the way bioethics influences the healthcare field, especially in physician decision making. Alongside PBJ, Nick is involved in the MedX Education Committee and teaches neuroscience to local high schoolers. He loves dinosaurs and has an identical twin brother.


Laura Whelan

Managing EditorLaura Whelan

Laura is a freshman in the College and is from Chatham, New Jersey, although she grew up in London, England, Trinidad and Tobago, and Houston, Texas. She conducted research in bioethics in high school and joined PBJ during her first semester at Penn. She is most passionate about organ transplantation and mental disabilities. Outside of PBJ, Laura is a College House Research Fellow and is researching the effectiveness of laws banning discrimination in organ transplantation in regards to mental ability. She is also a member of the Penn Sailing team, a member of the Penn Latin and Ballroom Dance team, and the president and founder of Penn’s Network of Enlightened Women chapter, a bookclub for conservative women.