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Upper Sixth pupil participates in pioneering study of genetics at Stanford University

During the summer holidays Upper Sixth pupil, Lottie, spent two weeks in California at Stanford University as part of a Stan-X internship. Stan-X is a pioneering study of genetics that Haileybury is the first school in Europe to be involved in. Lottie was offered the opportunity by the founder of Stan-X, Dr Seung Kim, after he witnessed her impressive execution of assignments upon his visit to Haileybury last term. The work Lottie completed during her time at Stanford was included in the paper Dr Kim was writing which will play a part in efforts to find a cure for diabetes.

The experiments at Stanford were the next phase required from the dissections Lottie completed at Haileybury during Dr. Kim’s visit. Working in the lab and being treated like a permanent member of the research team was extremely rewarding to Lottie, she thoroughly enjoyed having meetings with the professors and being fully involved in the large project they were working on.

During the internship, Lottie manipulated the fruit fly genome and generated new lines to be used in research science. Lottie experienced various challenges with sequencing data and a contamination problem with the gene Kekkon-1, but she enthusiastically overcame these with the appropriate action.

“I learnt how to use the microscope properly, the microscope there is different from the usual ones, it has much stronger lenses and you can change the colour of light that comes in. You can also take pictures with it, this is called imaging. We had to image each line that expresses an interesting gene and take a picture of the region expressing it for the paper.”Lottie, U6

Lottie appreciated that she was given a lot of responsibility as an intern and that her work would be included in the paper Dr. Kim was writing about IPCR in the brain. She received valuable experience during the internship that she can apply in future assignments. During her final year at Haileybury, Lottie will be helping the next group of Lower Sixth pupils who will be partaking in the Stan-X programme, she will give them guidance on the theoretical and practical aspects of the course.

“I had a great time during my two weeks and I thoroughly enjoyed this amazing opportunity in which I learnt many valuable skills, especially in molecular biology work.” – Lottie, U6