Four students to conduct stem cell research at USC

By Julia Aizuss

Four students will work at the University of Southern California researching stem cells this summer, Upper School Science Department Head Larry Axelrod said.

Kevin Adler ’13, Sophie McAllister ’13 and Ashley Wu ’13 will participate in an eight-week internship as part of the USC Early Investigator High School Summer Program in Stem Cell Research. The Upper School Science Department narrowed down the applications for the internship to six students, who were then interviewed together at the Eli and Edythe Broad Center for Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research, where the students will conduct their research, by the head of the program and the researchers involved.

McAllister worked last summer at the Coastal Marine Lab, which she also discovered through school, and it sparked her interest in lab-based research.

“It’s an opportunity that’s not usually available—how often do you get to work with stem cells?” McAllister said.

The opportunity to conduct stem cell research also appealed to Adler, who attended a presentation on stem cells at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center last year that subsequently sparked his interest in the subject.

“Before it was something I didn’t know about and I thought it was kind of cool, and after it really fascinated me,” Adler said.

Eliza Kellman ’12 will also participate in stem cell research at the Eli and Edythe Broad Center laboratories. The program stipulated that the students accepted for the three available spots should be juniors, but the interviewers were “so impressed with her that they offered her a position in the stem cell lab of the woman helping to run the program,” Axelrod said.