The LMHA Team


Bruny Kenou, BS

Bruny Kenou was born in Togo, West Africa and grew up in New Jersey. She graduated from Duke University in 2020 with Distinction in Neuroscience and minors in Psychology and Chemistry. She currently works in the Molecular Neuroimaging lab of Dr. Robert Innis at the National Institutes of Mental Health. Her lived experience with mental illness has made her an advocate for fighting stigma and increasing access to adequate mental health care for marginalized populations. At Duke she helped create a peer-to-peer mental health support program called DukeLine. Since graduating she volunteers as a Data Analyst for Lean On Me, a non-profit peer mental health support organization and is on the Youth Advisory Council of NAMI National.

Aiyana Ponce, BS

Aiyana Ponce, a native of El Paso, Texas, graduated from The University of Texas at El Paso with a B.S. in Cellular and Molecular Biochemistry and a minor in Spanish. At the start of LMHA, she was working at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in the laboratory of Dr. Jesus Valenzuela. Here, she studied the local and systemic innate and adaptive immune response to Aedes aegypti bites in an endemic population in Cambodia.

She is currently a first year medical student at the UNTHSC Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine and is heavily involved with the Texas Medical Association, American Medical Association, Student National Medical Association, and more! She aspires to become a well-rounded physician who connects both scientific training and compassionate care to treat patients.

Jesse Ross, BA

Jesse grew up in Northern Virginia in an Arab-American community. He graduated from the University of Virginia in 2018 with Distinction in Cognitive Science with minors in Biomedical Engineering and Religious Studies. He taught English in Japan before coming to work in the Behavioral Neuroscience Research Branch at the National Institute on Drug Abuse in Baltimore, Maryland. There he researches the neurocircuitry of addiction, specifically brain circuits involved in opioid withdrawal. He hopes to pursue a career as a psychiatrist using a wide range of novel therapeutic technologies to make mental healthcare more understandable, affordable, and accessible.

LMHA Team Members

Spencer Andrews, B.S.

Spencer is a recent graduate of Indiana University and currently serves as a post-baccalaureate research fellow at the National Institute of Mental Health. As an individual passionate about mental health advocacy, he volunteers as a grant writer for the LMHA team. Spencer hopes to secure funding sources that open new doors for the group and later plans to pursue a career in health policy.

Toby Chen

Toby is currently an Undergraduate Student at Duke University in his senior year. At Duke, Toby is double majoring in Chemistry and Psychology and is hoping to eventually go to medical school. In his free time, Toby enjoys playing basketball, volunteering, playing with cats, and conducting research. Toby is originally from Cleveland, Ohio. He is passionate about exploring ways where we might make healthcare more accessible, equitable, and holistic to provide quality care for everyone!

Jessica Barnes, BS

Jessica Barnes is from El Paso, Texas where she graduated with a B.S. in Neuroscience from the University of Texas at El Paso. Since Jessica graduated, she has been working as a Registered Behavior Technician assisting individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder. While Jessica is not attending school, she looks forward to becoming more involved with the LMHA Team as well as gaining shadowing experience in her free time. She has a passion for learning and is excited to indulge herself into the medical field and become a doctor in the near future.

Advika Kumar

Advika Kumar is from Greensboro, North Carolina She is currently a second-year undergraduate student at Duke University pursuing a B.S. in Biology with a co-major in Global Health. As an aspiring physician, she hopes to use her involvement with LMHA to mitigate the stigma surrounding mental health and improve the accessibility of mental health resources.

Nicole Antkiewicz, BA

Nicole grew up in Edison, New Jersey and graduated from the Schreyer Honors College at Penn State in May 2017 with B.A.s in English and Psychology. After teaching English in Japan, she received an Intramural Research Training Award from the NIH and spent the following two years as a post-baccalaureate fellow at the National Institute of Mental Health and the Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. Currently, she aspires to become a clinical psychologist or psychiatrist specialized in the treatment of major depressive disorder, PTSD, and generalized anxiety disorder.