She is an upcoming senior at Sumner High School in the fall of 2017. Her passion for biology and chemistry and her amazing teacher’s and friend’s support helped her to pursue her love for science at a new level. At Institute for Systems Biology, she’s worked with Katherine Good on the Green Microalgae Project, using Chlamydomonas Reinhardtii and CRISPR/Cas9 to edit its genome to produce more lipids, which are then converted to fuel. After she finishes high school, she hopes to pursue major in Biology in her undergrad, then go to graduate school and obtain a PhD. She hopes to attend UW, Stanford, or any other school that has a good biology program.
Pia attends Sumner High School and is part of the International Baccalaureate program as a Full IB Diploma Candidate. She has taken IB Chem II and IB Bio I, and will take IB Bio II her senior year; her freshman Biology teacher inspired her to pursue science. As a Junior, Pia became fascinated by the revolutionary CRISPR/Cas9 complex after she attended a presentation, and decided that she would write her Extended Essay on it as part of the IB Program’s curriculum. In addition to academics, she’s been on the long-distance track team and been a part of Honor Society since sophomore year, and will be Vice President of the club during her final year in high school. She’s also been a part of her school’s student body as a Junior Class Representative, and will be an Assistant Technical Coordinator when she’s a senior. She’s been in choir since 7th grade, and in her sophomore year, she competed in Solo and Ensemble and landed a first alternate spot to state as a Soprano I. She’s also a member of the theatre department at Sumner High, starring in 12 Angry Men and Legally Blonde, leading a project with the theatre’s PR department to publish a video advertising the musical.
Pia has always loved music. Her middle school teacher sparked her love for music and she’s participated in choir ever since as a Soprano I. Her commitment to music has allowed her to compete in competitions, be in musicals, and make connections with people she has come to love and care about. She’s also always loved science; during her time in school, she’s done well in her chemistry and biology classes. Her passion for wanting to know how the way organisms and compounds around her behave has driven her to want to learn to better understand. This internship came as a shock to her as the lab and the technology she was allowed to use were ones she had never used before, but it did not take long for her to feel comfortable in a professional setting. Being able to do experiments that she’d never even known about until her time here and applying what she knew from biology and chemistry to a career allowed her to love this internship and advance her knowledge in science. Pia hopes to come back to school and tell those around her about this internship she got to be a part of so that she can share what she’s experienced with others. She’s ready for the school year with a fresh mind and a great heart.
She’s been a volunteer all throughout the Sumner-Bonney Lake area, where she lives and attends school. She spends most of her time at school, helping out with student activities and community dinners, and other times, she helps out at food banks and at local events the Honor Society club hosts around the neighborhoods. Her love to serve others has allowed her to help out in Student Body and in all of the extracurriculars she participates in. In her free time, she spends time with her family and friends, or is found running, swimming, or hiking. She is very thankful for all of the love and support she’s received!
This summer, Pia worked on the Green Microalgae Biofuel project with Jake Valenzuela, Aza Allen, and Katherine Good. Read more about what the other interns worked on in the Projects Page!