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Nina O.
Senior
St. Ignatius College Prep
During my summer, I first went on a service immersion trip with my school to Mississippi. We worked on renovating one house and building a ramp for another house. That trip was really cool because 1) I was able to connect with people that I am not that close with and 2) We learned a lot about the injustices that poor towns, such as Holly Springs, have to face. For example, we learned that it was illegal for soup kitchens to exist in Mississippi because it advertises the poor. Soup kitchens are run as disguised restaurants. After that, for four weeks I did research at the University of Chicago. The program was intensive, but really fun. For the first two weeks of the program with a lab partner, the class did Nobel Prize winning experiments, and then for the last two weeks we designed our own experiments in groups of four. My group worked on inhibiting cell proliferation of Baf3 cells that were normal and ones that were resistant to the imatinib, commercially known as Gleevec. Baf3 cells are cancer cells that cause chronic myeloid leukemia and the drug used to cure that is imatinib, however, some patients are become resistant to the imatinib treatment, we sought to find another way to treat the cancer. We used a second generation drug of imatinib, nilotinib, and another drug that targets a different structure, MST-312. Then, we also tried the combination of the two to see which was most effective. What I learned from this was that I actually love doing research and that I learn a lot from this, so I definitely want to start research freshman year of college.