October 27, 2017
Our sixth featured Ambassador of the week is Elisah Huynh.
Elisah is a third-year Biology student on the pre-medical track and also working on a Biochemistry minor. She chose Biology as her major because is it an extensive field that includes a vast array of subjects filled with both field experiences and labs, “Biology is what is all around us!” she said. Staying up past midnight writing lab reports wasn’t exactly what she expected, but that didn’t alter her path because this major caters to all her interests and provides appropriate lab experience for research opportunities.
“Understanding biology allows me to help people live healthier lives, which is a reason why I want to enter the field of medicine. The intricate systems are what fascinates me, and the fact that you manipulate the parameters to test a hypothesis is exciting”.
Elisah works in the Wadsworth Lab, where they study various motor proteins that are involved in cellular division, or mitosis. There will always be a lot to learn about our cells and cellular function despite all the developments in sequencing of our genes. It is believed that the answers for most human diseases, gene testing, therapy, and much more, lie within the understanding of the machinery and events of cell division. To further explain what she does in her lab Elisah gave us a car metaphor;, to understand how a car works, you need to know the parts of the car and the specific job of each part in the whole.
“In my research, I study specific “parts of the car” or in my case specific mitotic proteins in order to understand what effects they may have on the stages of mitosis in mammalian cells”
Elisah also participated in the STEM AP Summer experience and it was by far her favorite part of the program. “STEM AP connected my research interests, such as how certain cancer cells react within model systems, and goals to a research lab for a whole summer”. She strongly believes that this experience was what spurred her interest as a scientist, and also helped her dissect scientific journals and come up with workable hypothesis to carry out experiments. On top of being a scientific experience, it was also a social one due to the fact that the program created a community of like-minded peers that supported her goals and visions.
Elisah has been part of the E-board in STEM AP since it was created. She traveled to Haiti with Your Story International, and now she is a recruitment chair. This summer she was part of BaccMD Pathway Program at the UMass Medical School. On top of her many more science commitments, Elisah is a substitute Piano Teacher at the Falcetti Music Store.
After graduation, Elisah hopes to either work in a pathology lab or conduct cancer research. She also hopes to work for Teach for America before she applies for medical school. Participating in Doctors without Borders is another eventual goal she has in order to improve global health in areas that need it the most.