What do you call a convention with scientists, tech guys, engineers, and mathematicians? An asSTEMbly.
Corny STEM humour aside, let me introduce myself.
Hi, my name is Amanda Wu. In addition to my affinity towards cheesy puns, I have cultivated, from a young age, a passion for science as well as a drive to pursue a career grounded in healthcare and medicine. And this aspiration has led me to be one of the eight participants in the CIRM SPARK internship program here at the Cedars-Sinai Regenerative Medicine Institute. The opportunity to intern and partake in this program is an honor, and an exciting one I might add.
After hours of intensive training on safety and hospital protocols as well as mountains of formalized paperwork, I’m happy to say that I began my duties as a research intern this past Monday. While the time frame between now and Monday may be considered terse, my experience at the Regenerative Medicine Institute so far has been insightful and enthralling. Some noteworthy occurrences within the past week include a tour of the pristine art collection housed at Cedars-Sinai, intellectually stimulating and collaborative lab discussions, educational lectures grounded in a myriad of topics in science, the honor of being in the company of such cordial fellow interns and faculty, and the ability to utilize state of the art equipment to microscopically image stem cells.
Speaking of stem cells, with the mentorship of Dr. Virginia Mattis, I will be focusing on stem cells, particularly the differentiation of pluripotent stems cells into medium spiny neurons, in relation to the neurodegenerative disorder Huntington’s disease for my research this summer.
Although seven weeks may seem like a short time span, I’m really looking forward to immersing myself into the technical and analytical aspects of the medical field, bonding and connecting with my fellow internees, and progressing in my scientific endeavors and research while participating in this internship.
Hope to keep you posted.