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What I've Been Up To - March 2018


What I've Been Up To Last Month

March 29 · Issue #1 · View online

A sneak peek into my exciting month

Hi, everyone! My name is Hannah, and I’m a high school student who is passionate about genomics and stem cells. Take a look at my newsletter to see what I’ve done in the month of March!

Internship at the Westwood Lab
Left to right: Me, Sidrah, Kristine, Dr. Westwood
Left to right: Me, Sidrah, Kristine, Dr. Westwood
Over March Break, I got the chance to work at the Westwood Lab at the University of Toronto (Mississauga) on fruit flies to determine the stages in embryogenesis that require heat shock factor (HSF) activity. With other students, I also investigated how a single gene mutation can increase the lifespan of fruit flies up to 50% (!), plus its relevance to human longevity. 
Check out my article here!
Exploring the 'Marriage' of CRISPR and Stem Cells
For the last month, I was super excited about the applications of CRISPR in stem cells. Besides allowing scientists to change a single gene to turn skin cells into pluripotent stem cells, CRISPR can do so much more! 
Curious about the history of stem cells and how the novel gene editing technology can elevate the potential of stem cells? Spend 5 minutes to learn 5 times more by reading my article below!
CRISPR and Stem Cells — Changing Cellular Identity and Saving Lives
Stem Cell Academic Roundtable @ U of T
If you’ve watched Wolverine, you were probably blown away by the character’s ability to heal his own skin. Guess what? That’s no longer just science fiction! 
At the Academic Roundtable at the University of Toronto, I got the chance to speak with Dr. Amini-Nik Saeid, who is collaborating with burn surgeon-scientists and chemical engineering scientists to create “skin substitutes” for burn patients! 
I also met Dr. Milica Radisic who has been investigating alternative treatments and suitable models for studies of myocardial infarction - a disease that affects nearly a million people in North America alone. 
My mind was blown when Dr. Elvin Wagenblast discussed how a single amino acid can regulate breast cancer metastasis. 
Last but not least, I had a great conversation with Dr. Penney Gilbert, who is uncovering the secrets of muscle cell repair and employing muscle stem cells in the fight against muscle atrophy. Her life story has inspired me, and she reminded me of why I started studying biology in the first place: to reach a level of expertise where we can understand nature so well that we can use our knowledge to change the world! 
Visit to the Gilbert Lab
Me and Professor Gilbert
Me and Professor Gilbert
Today, I got the chance to the Gilbert Lab at the Donnelley Center. During my visit, I was excited to have a glimpse into what her lab has been working on, one example of which is the “neuromuscular junction in a dish”, and observe cultures of satellite cells!
Microsoft's AI Future Now Conference
Left to right: Vincent Hong (Microsoft), Sameer (TKS), Areez (TKS), Me, Kevin Magee (Microsoft), Shagun (TKS), Emma De Silva (Microsoft), Ahmed Adel (Microsoft), Shalev (TKS), Zaynah (TKS)
Left to right: Vincent Hong (Microsoft), Sameer (TKS), Areez (TKS), Me, Kevin Magee (Microsoft), Shagun (TKS), Emma De Silva (Microsoft), Ahmed Adel (Microsoft), Shalev (TKS), Zaynah (TKS)
Last week, I had the opportunity to attend Microsoft’s AI Conference - Future Now. It was inspiring to see how A.I. can influence businesses and various industries. I was grateful to have met so many amazing, enthusiastic individuals from Microsoft and other start-ups. I was then given the chance to visit Microsoft office here in Toronto!
Canadian Young Physicsts' Tournament - National Round is coming up!
Canada's team at the International Young Physicists' Tournament 2017
Canada's team at the International Young Physicists' Tournament 2017
As part of the National Committee on STEM Fellowship, I helped organize the provincial competition for the Canadian Young Physicists’ Tournament. High school students across Ontario prepared their experiments in advance and presented their solutions in front of a panel of national experts! The national round is happening at Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics on April 14, 2018. 
We’re also looking for Ph.D. students in Physics to become part of the jury, which involves giving students feedback on their experiments, debate skills, and research process. 
Interested in empowering future physicists and helping Canada select top students? Feel free to send me an email!
Stay tuned for my updates next month!
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