Chemistry major Elizabeth Laudadio ’15 is contributing to the fight against breast cancer this summer, conducting research in a cutting-edge stem cell laboratory. She’s one of 44 students accepted into the 2013 Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI) Internship Program, which provides undergraduates with challenging summer research opportunities.
On August 16, Laudadio will finish a ten-week stint at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital laboratory of HSCI affiliated faculty member Zhe Li, who is known for his research on the developmental biology of epithelial cancers. Laudadio’s project this summer is to establish a breast cancer cell line for lineage tracing.
“As a chemistry major, doing biology research has been an exciting change of pace,” Laudadio says. “I've learned how important it is to be invested in the project on which you are working. I believe all science should be performed with the intention of improving quality of life for all.”
Over the course of the summer program, interns participate in a stem cell seminar series, a career pathways presentation, and a weekly stem cell companion course. They present their summer research findings, both orally and in poster format, at an end-of-program symposium.
“This program represents an exciting opportunity for undergraduates to gain hands-on experience in stem cell research while working under the supervision of an experienced researcher,” said HSCI Internship Program director M. William Lensch.
HSCI is a collaborative of more than 1,000 leading scientists, postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, and undergraduate students who are affiliated with one or more of Harvard’s schools and affiliated hospitals and medical institutions, and who are working to advance the understanding and use of stem cells in basic research and regenerative medicine.