Ari Zlota is a much-lauded student in Northeastern’s College of Science. In addition to the Garnet Award, he received the Community Service Award in 2019 from the Center for Community Service and the Community Impact Award in 2020 from the Office of City and Community Engagement. That’s impressive—especially since he still has two years to go before he graduates.
Ari is a biochemistry major, behavioral neuroscience minor, in the Honors Program, and has 3.96 GPA. He is involved with the Alliance of Civically Engaged Students (NUACES) and helped out at an inpatient detox unit at Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital. In his current position as a peer programmer for NUACES, Ari mentors 10 first-year members, leads monthly lessons and discussions, and helps plan curriculum.
Ari is committed to volunteer work and has supported the Boston Healthcare for the Homeless program since 2019. During spring break last year, he traveled to Honduras as part of the Global Medical Brigades Club. Ari is equally dedicated to research. During his first co-op (at Woolf Lab at Boston Children’s Hospital), Ari worked to develop a safe therapeutic option for the treatment of acute and chronic pain. Currently at his second co-op at the Belfer Center for Applied Cancer Science (at Dana Farber), he is working to further develop and understand the action of candidate immunotherapies.
Not all of Ari’s research is focused on biochemistry. He has recently begun to participate in public health research as an intern in the Health in Justice Action Lab (Northeastern Law School). He analyzes the disproportionate investment in carceral systems—jails, courts, community supervision, etc.—relative to health and supportive systems such as housing, health and human services, and community engagement.
Ari was recently awarded a Health, Humanities and Society Research grant. “Although the grant is quite small, it represents a noteworthy milestone in my academic journey,” he says. “I also consider it prominent because it demonstrates my commitment to taking an interdisciplinary approach to solving problems.” Although his future involves treating disease and injury through science and medicine, he believes that “successfully understanding and treating such ailments requires an understanding of how non-biological factors impact their manifestation and progression as well.”
Biochemistry Program Director Kirsten Fertuck, Ph.D, says, “I have no doubt whatsoever that Ari is going to emerge as one of our most distinguished senior students.” After graduation in 2023, he plans to go to medical school.