I am a rising senior at the University of Pennsylvania originally from Bethesda, MD. I am a PreMed student, Health and Societies major concentrating in Health Care Markets and Finance, I am also completing a minor in Chemistry. Along with academics, I also play on the varsity soccer team at Penn. My project involves studying the effects of phthalates, a common chemical found in plastics, on the female reproductive system. Specifically, we are examining the ability of phthalates to alter the expression of Grn mRNA in the ovaries of mice, which is involved in the regulation PGRN, especially during proesterus. As this protein plays many important biological roles, and both its under expression and over expression are associated with negative health consequences, the potential for phthalates to influence this protein raises concerns. My project, which is the first step in studying this potential environmental health, involves exposing mice to varying concentrations of phthalates and inducing estrus in nonpregnant females. We will then collect tissue samples in order to examine the presence of both the PGRN protein and GRn mRNA.
I’m a rising senior with an interest in ecology and medicine. A Midwestern upbringing helped to foster my curiosity in nature, and my time at Penn allowed me to gain clinical experience in the medical setting. Through STEER, I hope to combine these seemingly disparate pursuits by studying the impact of environmental factors on our health.
Born and raised in the nation’s capital, and having graduated from a French International School, I have always felt like a citizen of the world. Now, a rising junior at the University of Pennsylvania, I am majoring in Earth Science with a concentration in Environmental Science as well as minoring in the Wharton School in Environmental Management and Sustainability. My education is steering me to become an extremely social and passionate environmental scientist looking to apply my knowledge and experience in order to better our environment and create a community that can sustain itself. This summer, with the STEER program, I will be working with governmental agencies such as the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) and PA’s Department of Health with the University of Pennsylvania’s resources to deal with the issue of child lead poisoning in Reading, PA.
My name is Stephanie Kubala and I originally from central NJ. I went to Boston University for college, during which I studied abroad in Ecuador with their Tropical Ecology Program. In Ecuador, I did research projects in the cloud forest, rainforest, coast and in the Galapagos. I also did mobile nitrogen of tree cores research in Dr. Pamela Templer’s lab my senior year. After college I worked for 2 years at MGH doing food allergy research. and now I am a second year medical student at Temple University School of Medicine. This summer, I am working in Dr. Angela Haczku’s lab doing asthma and ozone research.
I was born in Santa Cruz, CA in 1992; I think a small piece of my heart will always be buried in the sands of the beaches there. Growing up, I loved to be outside, and I played almost every sport I could. I love to learn, and will never stop exploring people and places and particulars. The classroom cannot confine my discoveries, and even though I strive for a BSE in Bioengineering, my love of knowledge and exploration hint at a number of different applications and career paths that feel no limitations. I have a profound interest in the human experience – in consciousness and neuroscience – and as I continue exploring in my undergraduate career I find myself irrefutably entranced by the possibilities of discovery in this and related fields.
School: Cornell University ‘16, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Major: Science of Natural and Environmental Systems
Project: The Dangers of Asbestos in Drinking Water – A look into the Ambler Asbestos piles and whether is leaking into the Wissahickon Creek. Furthermore, the decay of older asbestos pipes might be releasing dangerous asbestos into drinking water.
My name is Miles Mundy. I am 19 years old and was born in Stanford, California. I was raised in California and went to school in the bay area until I moved to Philadelphia when I was nine years old. I went to middle school and high school at Friends’ Central School. During my the summers before my junior and senior years I worked in a lab at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia under Dr. Clyde Wright as a research student. The following spring for senior project I volunteered as an intern at the Philadelphia Zoo. This really helped further my interests in animal biology and other natural sciences. I know attend Pomona College in Claremont, California where I am taking a range of classes but will most likely declare as a bio major. I may go the premed route but I also may go to grad school to pursue my interests in animal sciences and research. My project for the STEER program involves the study of the effects of high fructose corn syrup on the gut micro biome and how this alteration can lead to obesity and diabetes later in life. I am working under Dr. Rebecca Simmons and hoping to find the mechanisms by which high fructose corn syrup causes these changes. Most of my studies will involve looking at mouse models to determine the possible effect high fructose corn syrup consumption, specifically at adolescence, will lead to future health problems.
My name is Grace and I am going to be a rising senior at Franklin and Marshall College. I am a Public Health major interested in working to build and maintain community health. I find environmental health an interesting field to get motivated in because of the variety of tasks involved. This summer at Penn, I am working on an awesome, rewarding STEER project! With the help of my mentors, Marilyn Howarth and Rich Pepino, I will investigate the significance of lead pollution in specific regions. My research will mainly focus on expanding information on the Lancaster, pa region and to elaborate on its conditions contributing to lead poisoning. Collecting data, analyzing risk assessment, and studying historical context will all take place! Hopefully my new research will provide more insight into addressing the lead problem.
I am a rising sophomore at the University of Pennsylvania studying Biological Basis of Behavior and History. Having volunteered at a wetlands nature center for 6 years and raised in South Florida most of my life, I became very fond of the environment, and it became a passion and hobby. Entering college, I was interested in continuing my involvement in the environment in addition to starting research. For these reasons, the STEER program was the ideal program for me. This summer, under the guidance of my mentor, Dr. Ralph Meyer, I am studying the effect of Busulfan in combination with ABT-888 on male infertility.
My name is Monica Soni and I am a rising junior at Georgetown University in the School of Foreign Service. My major is Global Health and Biotechnology, in addition to pre- medical studies. I am conducting research this summer at the Airways Biology Initiative at the University of Pennsylvania, focusing on asthma in murine models. I am very excited to be a part of STEER and to learn about how the environment can impact one’s health. After this summer, I hope to use these experiences to help improve health on Native American reservations.