Meet the Core Team: The People Behind PHTT

Dhanya Baby is a Biology major from Australia and India. Her passions include chocolate, brunch, and gardening.  She also passionate about public health and finds organising the conference a great way to get involved with public health issues concerning the UAE. Dhanya began her involvement with the Public Health Think Tank as a volunteer, joined the core team the following year, and is excited to organize her third PHTT conference.


Alvaro Yañez is a Biology major specializing in Brain and Cognitive Science. He was born in Peru, and lived in both Chile and Peru before moving to NYU Abu Dhabi in the UAE. Apart from the natural sciences and healthcare, he loves music; particularly playing the guitar and singing. Alvaro aspires to be a neurosurgeon in the future, and serve in missions with Médecins Sans Frontières International. He first became involved in the Public Health Think Tank as a participant in 2015, and decided to join the Core Team because he believes that youth involvement in issues of public health is key to empowering citizens of the future.


Sjur Hamre is an Economics and Political Science major from Norway. Besides being a public policy and grammar aficionado, he enjoys running, climbing, and stand-up comedy. He thinks fondly of his high school years in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and sees Norwegian milk chocolate, Pukka tea, and excessively compounded sentences as his inescapable guilty pleasures. He believes that public health changes the world for the better, and that enabling diverse groups of students to tackle complex public health challenges produces valuable intervention insights and equips them with the skills required to successfully influence public policy later in life.


JooHee Choi is an NYU Abu Dhabi student studying Biology, alongside other interests such as Film and New Media and Computer Science. She is from South Korea and has also spent her childhood in the US. In her free time she enjoys exciting activities such as eating ice cream, watching Youtube videos, and cloud gazing. This is JooHee’s first year participating in the Public Health Think Tank, and she is excited to contribute in making this year’s conference the best one yet.


Hala Aqel is a Palestinian-American student who is pursuing a degree in Biology. Although she has lived in New Jersey, USA for as far back as she can remember – if you value your life, please do not bring up the infamous TV Show “Jersey Shore” to her. She solely devotes her free time to productive tasks, such as re-watching old sci-fi films and trying to match all the socks that have had their pairs devoured by all the washing machines in the universe. Through the PHTT, she hopes to boost her passion for public health by exploring local issues and assembling a team of the foremost specialists and students to address the topic at hand.

The application to attend PHTT 2016 has opened! Click here to apply to participate in this year's conference.