Seemingly intuitive for her, STEM was something that she had always had an obsessive relationship with–whether it was talking about the endothermic reactions that make glue glue during lunch or making magical, or so she thinks, concoctions to optimize her succulents’ growth. Thus, she always sought ways to augment her ever-evolving notion of science, initially biology, chemistry, and computer science.
In the summer after her sophomore year, she took this emerging bud of raw passion and obtained an internship at the University of Washington where she focused on retinal ganglion stem cell organoids. Enthralled by the rich discussions of the scientific method brought to life, she knew that this was something she wanted to participate in. Yet, she felt as though something were missing: the interdisciplinary connections. Wanting to close the wide gap between each of the subjects, she wanted to pursue an experience that would highlight these exact connections, and this happened at ISB.
As an intern for ISB this summer, she worked on the Systems Medicine project with her partner, Sara Mathan, to develop activities that teach students about the principles and practices of patient subtyping to identify personalized treatment options for colon cancer patients (you can read more about our project here). Her internship at ISB was an eye-opening experience where she learned beyond the scope of her project but about the future of healthcare is being redefined right now through this idea of P4 medicine (predictive, preventative, personalized, participatory medicine), (in her opinion) the ultimate intersection of big data and biology.
However, there are a myriad of underlying hurdles that arise when thinking about the clinical applications of such a powerful tool: the healthcare system itself. Feeling an urgent need to surface these issues to a broader audience, she and her fellow Systems Medicine team (Sara, Sarah, and Kanwulia) designed a game that teaches players about the structure of the healthcare system while facilitating the hard conversation of healthcare disparities, with a focus on race (you can find more information about our game here). She hopes to take her newfound knowledge from her internship at ISB to ultimately pursue a career in bioengineering and/or computer science.
As a rising senior at Eastlake High School, she is actively involved in her community through clubs, including HOSA-Future Health Professionals, Computer Science Honors Society, Math Honors Society, and Indian Student Association. She loves to dance and launched her own Bollywood Fusion dance company in 2016 alongside founding and leading her high school’s Bollywood dance team, Ishaara.
For future interns: If you have any questions or just need advice for the application, I am more than happy to help 🙂