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2011 Soros Scholars March 23, 2011

Yin Li (MED) and Yoonhee Patricia Ha (MED) are Penn’s recipients of the Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans this year. Here are their bios, from the Soros web site.

YOONHEE PATRICIA HA is a first-year MD/PhD student at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. Her doctoral studies are in epidemiology. Yoonhee previously completed a master’s degree in public health at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, University of London, where she was a Marshall Scholar. As an undergraduate at The Ohio State University, Yoonhee earned bachelor’s degrees in microbiology, finance, and Korean and a minor in political science. While at Ohio State, she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, selected as a Harry S. Truman Scholar, and named to the USA Today All-USA College Academic First Team. Yoonhee has interned with the World Health Organization in Geneva, American Cancer Society in Washington, DC, and non-governmental organizations in London and Nairobi. Born in the US to emigrants from South Korea who are now naturalized citizens, she hopes to become a physician-researcher.

YIN LI was born in Shanghai to parents who sacrificed their careers to give their only child a chance to study in the US. As a junior at New York City’s Stuyvesant High School, he interned in the laboratory of Nobel Laureate Eric Kandel. The resulting research on a memory protein won Yin the top prize at the 2003 Siemens Westinghouse Science Competition. He went on to study at Harvard as a biochemical sciences major, while working in the laboratory of Nobel Laureate Robert Horvitz at MIT, where he identified a neuropeptide signaling pathway involved in the control of locomotion. Yin graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Harvard in 2008. Now 24, he has completed two years of medical school in the MD-PhD program at the University of Pennsylvania, where he cofounded an a cappella group that sings at hospitals and nursing homes. Yin is currently in his first year as a PhD student in neuroscience, studying visual perception and decision-making with Professor Josh Gold. His ultimate goal is to improve the understanding and treatment of neuropsychiatric disorders. Yin will use his Soros Fellowship to continue his PhD work at Penn.

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