Sara is a rising senior at Garfield High School in Seattle and will graduate in 2021. She enjoys bringing her passions into the school community and is the president and founder of both the cancer awareness club (called Bulldogs Against Cancer) and her school’s first Indian Cultural Club. In addition to these clubs, she is also an active member of the gymnastics team and was elected as one of the 2020-21 team captains. Outside of school, Sara enjoys volunteering as a COPE Junior Health Scholar at Swedish Hospital and being a member of the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life planning committee. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her friends and listening to music.
Sara is currently working in the Baliga Lab under her mentor Becky Howsmon, developing activities that teach other students about the principles and practices of patient subtyping to identify personalized treatment options for colon cancer patients. These activities are part of a larger curriculum developed by ISB to teach students around the world about Systems Medicine and P4 Medicine. Through working on this project, she has learned more about how cancer presents itself in different demographics, how to read genetic heat maps, and about how personalized medicine can be effectively integrated into our society. She has also learned a lot about the scientific research process, through reading and analyzing scientific papers and listening to presentations by research scientists at ISB. Her favorite parts of the internship were being able to apply her interest in cancer mechanisms to a real-world context, and being able to collaborate with a large variety of people. Learning about new milestones in the field of personalized medicine and how it can lead to more equal care delivery across different demographics has inspired Sara to pursue research opportunities in personalized medicine in college, and integrate these principles into her desired career as an Oncologist.