THE SICKLE CELL NERDS
WHO WE ARE
OUR 2022 PARTNERSHIPS
TEAM SICKLE CELL 101
Mylinda Ogundipe has worked in the nonprofit sector for over 10 years in various capacities including volunteer coordination, program management, community development, and administration. Her academic background is in Political Science and Public Administration with a focus on Nonprofit Management. Mylinda has a passion for sickle cell education because she and her husband carry the trait and they have a daughter with Sickle Cell SS. In her free time, Mylinda offers peer to peer support to mothers of children with sickle cell disease.
Sabrina Ehrlich graduated from California State University, East Bay with a degree in Psychology and a concentration in Industrial/Organizational Psychology. She is passionate about mental health and to be an advocate by representation and awareness for the Filipino community, specifically women and LGBTQIA+-, and other underserved communities. She plans to attain a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology or Psychiatry to better serve society and promote mental wellness among underserved communities. Thus, one of her motivations towards her passion is having two sisters with sickle cell disease, as well as two other siblings with sickle cell trait, which led her to wanting to be involved in the sickle cell community. She aspires by how SC101 uses its platforms to globally advocate for sickle cell disease and trait education, research, and awareness. This work has fueled her interests in continuing within this research space, specific to mental and physical well-being.
Mariah Scott has an immense amount of ambition for sickle cell research inspired from living with Sickle Cell Disease (SS). To be the only child of three children with sickle cell disease, her brother and sister carry the sickle cell trait. Despite multiple hospitalizations, surgeries, and vast number of hours turned into days living with chronic pain; Mariah has not let her ambitions become astray. Mariah completed her undergraduate degree from Montclair State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in molecular biology. She continued to receive her first graduate degree from Seton Hall University with a Master of Science in Microbiology. Then, her second graduate degree is from Rutgers University with a Master of Public Health in Epidemiology. Mariah continued to enrich her laboratory research when she received her immunology training at Yale University, studying the mechanism of red blood cell immunity seen in sickle cell patients. Mariah later fulfilled her chronic disease epidemiology practicum at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, studying patient-reported outcomes in sickle cell patients transitioning from pediatric care to adult care. Currently, Mariah is an Epidemiologist that specializes in infectious and chronic disease epidemiology. She continues to strive for a PhD in Epidemiology to further educate the sickle cell community of the many healthcare disparities this cohort of individuals endure. Mariah enjoys advocating and engaging in public speaking for the sickle cell community on issues that are underrepresented such as mental health, reproductive health, and social relationships. When Mariah has leisure time, she enjoys reading, baking, and binge-watching true-crime series with her daughter, Autumn, and her best friend – life partner, Bryan.
Halimat Olaniyan is an editor, author of Breaking the Cycle: Short Stories on Living with Sickle Cell, philanthropist, and sickle cell warrior. Halimat juggles being a third-year medical student, running an online platform she founded to help others get into medical school (chasingmedicine.org), creative writing, research, and advocacy work all centered on her populations of focus – women, youth, and sickle cell patients. She works with several committees and non-profits focused on spreading awareness and improving outcomes for the sickle cell community. When she’s not doing all of the above, she’s conducting research on sickle cell while working on making her research easily accessible. In her free time, Halimat loves singing and dancing which you can see her doing on her Instagram @halimattakeson in her infamous car jams. Or she can be found binging the latest show with a side of pink lemonade. She’s a really big fan of Marvel, Disney, and Lin-Manuel Miranda.
Cassandra Trimnell is the founder and executive director of Sickle Cell 101 (SC101), a patient advocate, speaker and consultant. In 2014, Trimnell received her Sickle Cell Educator certificate, issued by the Department of Public Health. Trimnell is responsible for developing and creating the educational material and curricula presented by Sickle Cell 101, a San Francisco Bay Area-based non-profit organization that specializes in sickle cell education geared towards multiple key community stakeholders including patients and healthcare providers. Educational material covers topics pertaining to sickle cell disease and sickle cell trait and is disseminated primarily through social media. As a digital advocate, Trimnell is responsible for the strategic growth and engagement of Sickle Cell 101’s digital and primary platforms, which includes its social media, website (ranked 2nd most visited by patients), and newsletter. To date, Trimnell has grown its pages to over 40,000 followers on combined social media platforms with followers originating in 115 countries. With the highest engagement rates, Sickle Cell 101 promotes community and follower interactions for individuals affected by sickle cell and other community stakeholders. Trimnell is a board member for the Global Alliance of Sickle Cell Disease Organizations and sits on committees within NIH, HHS, and other entities that have a stake within sickle cell. Trimnell received a B.A. in Global Studies: Social, Political, and Economic Development from Sonoma State University in Rohnert Park, California. Trimnell’s passion for sickle cell education and advocacy stems directly from her living with sickle cell disease, hemoglobin SS.
Dr. Stephen Boateng is a passionate advocate and spokesperson for sickle cell disease and sickle cell trait. As a pharmacist by training, his passion in healthcare stems from his sister living with sickle cell disease and him being a sickle cell trait carrier. Dr. Boateng’s current research focus area is in sickle cell trait and health equity programs aimed at improving the quality of care and access for sickle cell patients globally. Outside his role as a researcher, he also provides clinical expertise as a medical writer/editor for sickle cell 101 and is the co-host of The Sickle Cell Podcast. He is the founder of NOB Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to providing healthcare resources primarily to individuals living with sickle cell disease, support malaria care, and maternal health in under-resourced communities in Africa. He has completed a clinical rotation at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, TN with a major focus on sickle cell and hematology. Dr. Boateng received his Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Idaho State University and completed his post-doctoral fellowship in the Rutgers Pharmaceutical Industry Fellowship Program. During his fellowship, he worked as a life sciences trainer in global oncology and served as an adjunct professor at Rutgers University. He currently works as a commercial training and development professional at Daiichi Sankyo Inc. Dr. Boateng enjoys soccer and is currently a coach at the New York Red Bulls working within the Training Programs Division in New Jersey.
Dr. Quirolo is an expert in sickle cell disease and thalassemia who was formally the Director of the Pediatric Sickle Cell Program and the Apheresis Program at UCSF Benioff’s Children’s Hospital Oakland. He received his undergraduate at San Francisco State University as a nursing assistant and following a degree in biology went to nursing school at the UCSF School of Nursing. Following graduation he worked as a hematology-oncology nurse in San Francisco, and attended Case Western Reserve School of Medicine. Following medical school he completed a pediatric residency at Children’s Hospital Oakland and joined a pediatric practice in Berkeley. Continuing to have a desire to care for children outside of his practice, he worked in the urgent care center at Children’s Hospital. After about ten years of pediatric practice he joined the hematology department at what is now UCSF Benioff’s Children’s Hospital in Oakland. Initially he was the pediatrician for sickle cell and thalassemia patients eventually becoming the director of the pediatric sickle cell program. With a desire to provide red cell exchange for patients with sickle cell disease, he started the apheresis program at the hospital, which expanded to become a comprehensive apheresis unit providing all types of apheresis therapy. Wanting to become more educated about red cell transfusion he completed a fellowship in Transfusion Medicine through the Pathology Department at UCSF School of Medicine.
Markus is an avid supporter of educating and raising awareness for sickle cell. As a loving husband of a sickle cell warrior, he wholeheartedly aligns with Sickle Cell 101’s mission. Markus is currently Senior UX Design Producer at Amazon Auto, but in his free time he volunteers his time to sickle cell projects and events. He also serves as an advisor for Sickle Cell 101. Markus is also fluent in French, German, and Dutch for international collaborations regarding sickle cell.
Angela’s passion for sickle cell advocacy and education stems from her being a mother of five– two with sickle cell disease and two with sickle cell trait. She is currently a principal at Lincoln Elementary School in Newark, California. Being an educator has given her an immense amount of experience on how to educate others about sickle cell and provide sickle cell counseling. Angela has an M.A. in Educational Leadership and Administration from Iowa State University, and an M.A. in Guidance Counseling/Human Growth & Development from the University of Iowa.
Shawna Barnes has been passionate about sickle cell and sickle cell advocacy since her childhood, with her interest stemming from her diagnosis early on in life. Her curiosity for patient education paired with her natural affinity for organization and “getting things done” let her to being a part of the SC101 organization. She completed her undergraduate degree in Management Information Systems and e-business at Concordia University, pursued graduate studies in Project Management and Internet Business at McGill University, and will be completing her executive MBA at the University of Fredericton. Additionally Shawna holds her Project Management Professional and Portfolio Management Professional certifications from the Project Management Institute. Shawna has also been Director of Operations of two pharmaceutical agencies, where she oversaw teams of project managers, developers, and operations working on a multitude of projects, including haematological products. Shawna is equally passionate about technology on the evolving landscape of the digital world as she is about new treatments options available to Sickle Cell patients, and enjoys reading up on new developments from her office chair.
Abibat Oshiobugie is passionate about sickle cell disease and sickle cell trait. Her passion for sickle cell stems from having two siblings with the disease and her and her other siblings with the trait. She completed her undergraduate degree from the University of California, Davis with a degree in Microbiology and Molecular Genetics. She is currently a medical student and plans to serve in primary care with a focus on sickle cell disease after residency. She hopes to be able to continue to impact the sickle cell community through Sickle Cell 101 especially with educational and research content. Abi loves hiking, cooking, and dancing. She is passionate about bringing and navigating through fitness to all levels of health. She loves mentoring other premeds and advocates for more women especially minorities in medicine to serve underserved communities.
In 1990, her doctor at the time was studying under a researcher in Montefiore who was studying hydroxyurea in sickle cell patients. Although the study was not complete, they decided to let start the therapy. Once she started, for the first time in her life, she was out of the hospital for more than three months; crises were not as severe as they once were. Ada has been able to work steadily without interruption for the past 28 years. She is a medical assistant by trade and has been an office manager to the cardiology practice for 9 years and in the field for 24 years. She has been married to her wonderful husband for over 12 years, and her family also includes two beautiful and talented nieces, two handsome step-grandsons and 1 beautiful step-granddaughter. Her family is very supportive family, starting from her mother, sister, aunts and cousins, and her extended family through marriage. She also has a Carolina dog / Shepherd mix, whom she adores. Ada volunteers for local sickle cell organizations and provides educational content in for Spanish-speaking sickle cell population.
Yeon Joo is passionate about sickle cell research and helping kids with sickle cell disease. Yeon Joo studied psychology and global health and she currently also works as a research coordinator to help kids with sickle cell disease manage pain. Outside of work, Yeon Joo enjoys cooking and listening to podcasts. Her favorites are the Sickle Cell Podcast from Sickle Cell 101 and Cheat Codes: A Sickle Cell Podcast.