Andrea Kim ‘17

Andrea Kim '17

Academic interests: Neuroscience and behavior, studio art.

Internship overview:
I am working at the Stevens Lab at Boston Children's Hospital. It is a lab that studies Huntington's Disease in humans and mice. After taking 3-D images of brain tissues using the confocal microscope, I analyze the frequencies, pattern, and morphology to see the progression of the disease. The ultimate goal is to study and learn the role of the microglia in synaptic pruning, which leads to the degradation of the neurons and their functions, causing the common symptoms of Huntington's. These symptoms include chorea, memory loss, and mood changes. We hope that the findings will result in possible treatments for the disease.

How might this internship help you after it ends?
I want to be a neurosurgeon, specifically studying and treating patients with neurodegenerative disorders and brain injuries. The work I am doing this summer has taught me tremendously about the surgical processes, physical symptoms, anatomy, and ethics in practicing medicine. Everything I do here at the lab sparks my interest and brings out my curious side.

What has this internship opportunity meant to you?
Spending most of my childhood in Boston, I have always walked by the Longwood medical area and always wanted to be one of the people in scrubs. Now, I am working at one of these hospitals—one of the world's top hospitals—learning about what I feel most enthusiastic and passionate about. I am getting closer to what I want to achieve in the future, and I am very proud of myself for getting this far. I started as the only one in my extended family who wanted to pursue medicine.

Did Lynk funding help you with this opportunity?
The Lynk Universal Application Funding was an essential part of my final decision to take the internship offer at the lab. I would have been in a position to decide between going home and working or taking this amazing internship offer and do what I love to do. Thanks to the funding, I was able to pursue my dreams and grow academically and personally.