Child Mind Institute Honors Rising Scientists
• What was your inspiration to go into the field of science? • Who were your mentors? • How did you decide on the topic? • What is your ultimate goal?
The Chapin School 2016
I’ve always been interested in in science because of the endless possibilities contained with in the field I’m constantly asking “why.” Why does this phenomenon happened or why does this approach work? Science provides a space in which I can explore these queries in a way that not only allows me to exercise my curiosity about the world but also possibly find information I could help other people too.
My primary mentor for this project was Dr. Sam Yoon, a gastric cancer surgeon and researcher at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City.
I initially decided to investigate gastric cancer due to the fact that members of my family and close friends have had the disease. After I began researching, I learned that Korean such as myself have the highest rate of occurrence of gastric cancer as compared to every other population in the world. Additionally, I’ve always loved cooking and food science and as a cancer of the stomach, food is an important environmental factor. Researching how Korean food affected the proliferation and survival of gastric cancer was a perfect way to unite my passions for family, food, and science.
My ultimate goal would be to fully understand how environmental factors work with genetics to cause cancer particularly gastric cancer. I think that learning more about the relationship between outside factors and genetic predisposition’s to the disease is crucial to understanding the causes, and thus cures, for cancer.
Plainview Old Bethpage JFK High School
As I entered high school, I pursued research under the guidance of my research teacher Mrs. O’Donnell, driven by an innate curiosity about the intricate processes that allow for distinct human function. As I continued research the past several summers, I further built upon my penchant for exploring and synthesizing ideas and theoretical connections beyond the classroom curriculum.
Mrs. O’Donnell was also my mentor in identifying research opportunities and cultivating essential research skills. This past summer, I worked with Dr. Iwao Ojima at Stony Brook University.
With Dr. Ojima’s guidance, I narrowed down my research focus to the exploration of a cancer drug his research group was developing, as the mechanisms of cancer’s tenacity and the means with which scientists combat the disease has always intrigued me.
Ultimately, I hope to combine my passion for medicine and biomedical research in pursuing a career as a researcher in drug development and biotechnology as well as a physician (obtaining an M.D./PhD). #