The CURF Undergraduate Advisory Board is a diverse group of students intended to enhance communication and awareness of the opportunities that CURF provides to the Penn student body. The board aims to reach out to the student community through various events and research fairs, promoting CURF and its programs. By working with students, faculty, and alumni, their goal is to promote the research interests of the student body and also connect students with research opportunities in their given fields.
I am a history and political science double major with research interests in security studies, Middle Eastern politics, and energy markets. During my time at Penn, I have worked with the Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program as an intern at later project lead for the Security in International Affairs Team, interned for The Brookings Institution, and enjoyed taking some of the incredible research seminars at Penn. Outside of my work with the CURF UAB, I am a member of the Philomathean Society, Student Committee on Undergraduate Education, and History Undergraduate Advisory Board.
Vice Chair, External
COL ’16: Biological Basis of Behavior, Healthcare Management
My research interests are in neuroscience, biology, and healthcare management. Freshman year, I worked in a biology lab to investigate the effects of specific genes on bristle cell growth. We used drosophilia as our model and RNAi techniques to determine which genes controlled bristle length. Sophomore year, I was an assistant to Wharton professors and researched organizational behavior in the workplace. Junior year, I examined the response to limitations in PET/CT scan usage with Dr. Benjamin Roman and Dr. David Asch in the Healthcare Management Department. This last summer, I ventured more to the economic side of healthcare and spent 10 weeks researching the challenges and barriers to implementation of personalized medicine for age-related disease. I was featured on Penn News Today and if you want to learn more about my research, SAS Frontiers has an informative blog post here: https://www.sas.upenn.edu/series/frontiers/science-rejuvenation. For senior year, I'm currently working with Dr. Gordon Barr in the department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Department at CHOP. Feel free to email me with any questions! I believe that research is one of the most fulfilling things an undergraduate can participate in, and I would love to help you find your place if you are equally passionate.
Vice Chair, Internal
"The population of college students is the only population in the world who do not want to get the most out of their investments. They are paying lobster money to eat chicken.” Coming into college, I was that naïve chicken-eater who simply wanted to finish the premed requirements, get a good GPA, and graduate. However, working in cancer immunotherapy at the June Lab, I realized there is more to college than classes and GPA. It involves passionate, active learning both in and out of the classroom. Research made me want to eat the lobster I deserved. Weird food metaphor aside, I view research as an opportunity for undergraduate students to grow in ways we never can in a classroom. It has inspired me to make the most of my attendance at Penn. Currently, I am a double major in Biochemistry and Biophysics pursuing a minor in Health Care Management and Biological Basis of Behavior and a Master’s in Chemistry. Outside of CURF and research at the June Laboratory, I am involved in the MedX Program, Korean Students’ Association, and volunteering at hospitals and hospices. As a hobby, I love eating food.
My research interests lie in the neurosciences. I am currently working at the Penn Medical School to improve knowledge on Frontotemporal Dementia. Previously, I have conducted research at the University of Nebraska Medical Center on the formation of gap junctions in diseases like prostate and pancreatic cancer and was honored as a semi-finalist in the 2013 Intel Science Talent Search competition. I have also spent a summer researching the effects of atrazine on fathead minnows. Outside of the CURF UAB, I am the president of Penn Science Across Ages and am a volunteer through the Student Hospice Organization of Penn.
COL ’17: Biochemistry, Biophysics, Psychology minor
So far, I have tried my hand at research in microbiology, oncology, stem cells, and most recently cardiac development although my primary interests lie at the intersection between genetics and technology. I am starting to try my hand at computational biology and I hope to integrate this into my research both at Penn at home. Since sophomore year I have been working in the Epstein lab studying protein-mediated cardiac development. This work has been both exciting and challenging, allowing me to apply much of what I learn in the classroom to a more practical setting. I’ve enjoyed research because of the independence and confidence you can gain handling an independent research project and trying to ask yourself what the next step or quick fix needs to be based on results you get. Each day brings excitement, and in any lab there is an amazingly smart and friendly community excited to teach you and get you up to speed.
Outside the academic atmosphere of Penn, I am involved in a South Asian fusion dance team, Penn Dhamaka. It’s been by far one of my best decisions at Penn, and I have had the opportunity to perform in different parts of the country and right at Penn in front of friends in family. In my free time I enjoy playing tennis, watching sports (except baseball), and reading whenever I get a chance!
Hyong S. Kim
COL ’16: Biology
My research interests lie along interdisciplinary boundaries encompassing genetics, regenerative medicine, and neuropsychology. During the summer after my freshman year, I worked under the Harvard Stem Cell Institute’s undergraduate research internship program. My summer project there primarily explored the differentiation potential of mesenchymal stem cells derived from murine adipose (fat) tissue into hepatocytes (liver cells) in vitro. At Penn, I have been working at a lab in the Department of Psychiatry at the Perelman School of Medicine, participating in projects that use mouse models to study psychiatric disorders, such as autism and schizophrenia.
COL ’16: Biological Basis of Behavior, Bioethics minor
I am interested in neuroscience and psychology. I completed my honors thesis last semester in the Epstein Lab at the Center of Cognitive Neuroscience at Penn. My thesis focused on the concept of a “cognitive map;” how one mentally represents and remembers an environment. Recently, I have begun working on a language development study at the Center for Autism Research at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Previously, I was involved in a study at Magee-Womens Institute in Pittsburgh that focused on assessing pain in post-mastectomy breast cancer patients for genetic study.
COL/WH ’16: Biophysics and Statistics
I am interested in medicine, medical anthropology, and public health. My previous research has focused on women’s health, health disparities, and environmental justice. I am now working with a community health clinic in North Philadelphia to understand Iraqi refugees' perceptions of and decisions about seeking primary healthcare. I am also working on a collaborative project that examines the ways in which qualitative methods are being used in patient-centered and outcomes research, with the goal of informing grant-giving institutions' expectations as well as guiding future investigators. My research experiences have been fun and enriching, and I am more than happy to chat with anyone who would like to know more about research at Penn!
COL ’16: Molecular Biology
My research interest lies in Biology. Currently I am working on a couple of projects. First, I am working on the development of a technique to purify proteins at specific genomic loci. I am also working on a sociological project to better understand the usage of cognitive and physical enhancements on campuses. Finally, I am working on a medical-record based project looking at the effects of metformin on breast cancer patients. Previously, I researched the effect of chelators on the efficiency of phytoremediation. I have also researched the bacterial cause of necrotizing enterocolitis, a gastrointestinal disease that largely affects premature infants.