See what our students are saying about their experience with us.

I am a STAR II student in Dr. Kobielak’s lab at the Comprehensive Cancer Center. I have learned many techniques during the summer and recent months. By far, the most challenging technique is cryosectioning, yet it is the most rewarding because I know that the next steps are relatively easy. The reason why cryosectioning is so difficult is that the angle that the blade must cut the embedded animal part must be very specific, which can sometimes be very difficult to get. Nevertheless, I am happy when I am done because I know that the slides I collect will give me the results I need for Immunhistochemistry. I am currently applying to college and really hope to attend Harvard University (applied early). I am not sure what concentration I will pick yet but I know that I will give it 110%.
— Jose Garcia
I am a STAR II student in Dr. Preet Chaudhary’s lab at the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center. I’ve only been in lab for a month or so but I have learned more in the last couple of weeks than I ever had. Performing colony PCR and screening has easily been the most rewarding part of lab. The technique is utilized to confirm successful transformation and viewing positive clones following the arduous process is rather pleasing. As a senior I will be applying to colleges this year and my dream school is easily MIT. I am stuck between majors in Computer Sciences, Mechanical Engineering, and other sciences but my end goal is to be part of a start up in the technological field.
— Kevin Tat
I’m a STAR 2 student in Dr. Adams lab at the Eli and Edythe Broad Center for Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research. I have learned a lot about scientific research through the STAR program during the past summers and recent months. The most arduous experience yet awesome experience that I have faced in lab is performing Acetylated Low Density Lipoprotein staining on mouse Bone Marrow Stromal cell. The process is complex, but is delightful to see the “tagged” cells under a microscope for imaging and analyzing purposes so that I could progress with my objectives in lab. I’m currently in the process of applying to college and really hope to get admitted into UCLA. I will major in Neuroscience and hope to get a Ph.D. in Neuroscience.
— Rizwan Choudhury
I am a STAR II student in Dr. Ichida’s lab at the USC Broad CIRM Center. Working in the lab, this past summer and current school year, has taught me so much about performing scientific research on a professional level. My favorite technique is bacterial transformation because it helps us to determine whether the constructs we built are accurate based on the appearance of colonies on ampicillin plates. It is definitely a relief when colonies grow on the plates because it confirms our DNA constructs, which allows us to advance further into the next procedures of our research. I am currently applying to college, which my top choices are Stanford and USC. I aspire to major in Biology and potentially minor in Mathematics, which will definitely help me as I achieve to become a part of the medical field.
— Aleck Sun
I’m a STAR II student in Dr. Davies’ Lab at the USC School of Pharmacy. Over the summer and in the recent months, I have learned many things about working in a research laboratory. Whether it be drug preparation for administration or data analysis, the lab environment truly helped to intensify my interest in science. One particular technique that I am very fond of is running an AST Assay, which measures the liver function. The setup is very tedious and requires great patience and hand-eye coordination. However, it all pays off when the assay is placed into the plate reader and the standard concentrations are what you expect them to be. I am currently applying to many colleges. I really hope to attend a liberal arts college either on the East Coast or the West Coast and explore my passions in Neuroscience, Computer Science, and Political Science. I hope to attain a graduate degree in one of these subject areas.
— Neel Patel
I’m a STAR II student working under Dr. Swenson’s Cancer Research Lab in the department of Biochemistry. I’ve gained significant information about research throughout my summer internship and in the recent months. My favorite experience that I encountered in lab so far was performing surgery on nude mice using aseptic technique. I injected anesthesia and implanted different concentrations of Vicrostatin (VCN) osmotic pumps through their skull. I felt as if I was a surgeon doing surgery on a human being; it felt amazing. I’m currently applying to colleges, and would really love to attend UCLA where I will continue to conduct research. I’ll major in Physiological Science and ultimately hope to become an anesthesiologist.
— Alicia Sherents