The Comings & Goings column is about sharing the professional successes of our community. We want to recognize those landing new jobs, new clients for their business, joining boards of organizations and other achievements. Please share your successes with us at: email@example.com.
Congratulations to Paavali A. Hannikainen on the publication of his paper, “Extensive Healthy Donor Age/Gender Adjustments and Propensity Score Matching Reveal Physiology of Multiple Sclerosis Through Immunophenotyping,” in Frontiers in Neurology, his first as lead author.
Hannikainen is in his first year of medical school at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. Before entering medical school he was a post baccalaureate intramural research trainee at the National Institutes of Health, where he conducted research at the Neuroimmunological Diseases Section as part of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases under the lead of Bibiana Bielekova, MD. During his college years he did a number of internships including as a third-year research assistant at the University of Melbourne, Department of Medicine, Melbourne, Australia and was a summer research intern at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
During his time at Emory University Hannikainen was on the crew team and served on the crew team’s board, helping to organize the team’s day-to-day operations. During his time in D.C., he joined Stonewall Kickball and as fundraising chair of his 35-person kickball team successfully raised more than $1,300 for TransLAW, a non-profit providing legal services for transgender people.
Hannikainen earned his bachelor’s degree in neuroscience and behavioral biology with a minor in Global Health, Culture, & Society from Emory University in Atlanta. He was an Undergraduate Honors Research Student at Emory University, Department of Neurosurgery, where he successfully completed and defended an honors thesis to establish a virally induced immunocompetent rat model of glioblastoma at the lab of Nicholas Boulis, MD.
Congratulations also to Luis Abolafia on his new position as senior program manager with the American Bar Association, Rule of Law Initiative. Upon accepting the position Abolafia said, “After eight wonderful years at the LGBTQ Victory Institute I accepted a position at the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative overseeing programs in the Caribbean, Central America, and Mexico. While I am sad to leave such an amazing organization as the Victory Institute that allowed me to combine two of my passions, political participation and LGBTQ equality, I am excited for this new challenge.”
Abolafia served as the director of international programs for the LGBTQ Victory Institute where he developed, implemented, and monitored several projects focused on democracy and governance for LGBTQ people in Latin America, Southern Africa, the Balkans, and South Asia. He has also served as a social investment consultant to Grindr LLC in D.C., helping to develop a social investment assessment in Brazil, Colombia, and Mexico for the company to positively impact the LGBTQ population in those countries. Prior to that he was a program manager with Asociación Candelita in Madrid, and a political party organizer for Equo – Spanish Green Party in Madrid. He has worked for Fundación Triángulo as an advocacy and human rights consultant, and authored a joint shadow report for the U.N. Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, in collaboration with 24 other NGOs.