In advance of our End of Summer BEEAM Symposium we would like to welcome the brilliant, student interns that have made this program such a joy to be part of this year! Please scroll down to be introduced to each of our young researchers and to become acquainted with their respective projects and short biographies!
Daniela Paulino – Greater Lawrence Technical School
My name is Daniela Paulino and I’m from Dominican Republic. I am a rising senior at Greater Lawrence Technical School in the STEAM program.
My favorite subject is biology. After High School I want to go to College to study Neuroscience and Cancer Research.
Some of my hobbies are reading, writing, painting, signing, dancing, and listening to music.
During this summer term in the BEAAM program, I have done some research on Alzheimer’s disease and Cell Extravasation.Alzheimer’s is a brain disease that causes trouble with memory, thinking, and behavior. Tau is a protein that builds up inside the neurons which helps the internal skeleton of the neurons. Amyloid-beta is a protein fragment that builds up between the spaces of the nerve cells.Amyloid-beta deposits plaques in the brain. Tangles are twisted fibers of Tau. Plaques and Tangles are the prime suspects of killing the nerve cells in the brain.Which eventually causes Alzheimer’s disease. Breast cancer is a disease caused by a variety of reasons. Some of those reasons can be mutations in the cells, and they can also be inherited. Cell extravasation is a step of a process called cancer metastasis. Cancer metastasis is the process in which a primary tumor metastasizesto form a secondary tumor. Extravasation, which is the secondary site to form cancer metastasis.This is when the cancer cells go to the secondary tissue to metastasize. Both Alzheimer’s disease and Breast Cancer Cell Extravasation have something in common. And this is the flow in which both of these diseases form. In Alzheimer’s disease, the flow is in which the plaques and tangles clean the brain by killing the nerve cells. In Breast Cancer Cell Extravasation the flow is in which the cancer cell migratethrough the lymphatic system and the blood vessels. Using a microfluidic pump I’m looking forward to mimicking the flow of these cells. In the brain and in the blood vessels.
Mohammed Musawwir – Cambridge Rindge and Latin
My name is Mohammed Musawwir, and I am a rising junior at Cambridge Rindge & Latin School (CRLS). My favorite subjects in school (and in general) are cybersecurity and computer science. In my free time I love to practice coding and make small projects. Currently I am learning Java in order to build an app. I am also taking a cybersecurity course during my free time to further my understanding of the subject. I am a research intern at MIT in the BEEAM program and it has been an amazing experience so far. One of my favorite aspects about BEEAM is that I get to engage in real, hands-on research which utilizes my CS skills.
Understanding flow patterns and flow trapping in a low Reynolds flow is beneficial to the study of microfluidics, fundamental science, and applied engineering. Over this summer, I have been working in the van Rees Lab with my mentors, Lingbo Ji and Xinjie Ji, to study a pair of cylinders as a flow trapping device. Using MATLAB to simulate the interaction between the low Reynolds number flow and the cylinders, we have been able to test different parameters (i.e angular velocity, width between the centers of the cylinders), and see how they affect the flow. We have also focused on implementing methods of finding the area of the recirculation region for the counter-rotating at equal-speeds case. Following that, we have been using numerical integration to try and calculate the area of the recirculation region for the counter-rotating at non-equal speeds case.
Erin Kim – Phillips Academy
Erin Kim is a junior at Phillips Academy who is passionate about biomedical engineering and mechanical engineering. Last year, she was part of the MIT iGEM team working on developing a graded treatment of the cytokine storm syndrome in COVID-19. This year, as a research intern at the Guo Lab, Erin is studying cell mechanics by analyzing cell shapes and migratory behaviors. Fascinated by the beauty of science and art, she enjoys working on blending these two worlds. She is also a strong advocate of climate curriculum, especially starting conversations around sustainability and the climate crisis through the lens of biology education. Erin is so grateful for the BEEAM community’s commitment to diversity in STEM and the wonderful opportunities it provides for aspiring scientists and engineers.
Collective cellular behaviors such as cell migration, packing, and jamming/unjamming are essential for a better understanding of various physiological and pathological processes, such as wound healing, morphogenesis, and cancer metastasis. In these behaviors, cell shape plays a critical role in regulation. Under the mentorship of Professor Ming Guo, Dr. Yulong Han, and Wenhui Tang, Erin is working to understand the relationship between geometric features of cells and physiological processes by researching cell packing patterns. Using Voronoi tessellation on MATLAB, Erin has generated simulation models of particles on a sphere and plotted the analysis of polygon fractions relative to different particle numbers. Erin finds the visualization of unique patterns within cellular systems and their intricate connections to cell organization to be so interesting, and as she continues her research project, she looks forward to comparing her data from particle packing simulations with cell packing.
Hannah Chun – Cambridge Rindge and Latin
Hannah Chun is a rising junior at Cambridge Rindge and Latin School. She has had a profound interest in STEM her entire life, especially in computer science and biotechnology. After high school, she plans to study computer science and become a software engineer. Besides STEM, Hannah is also passionate about the arts, and enjoys making music, drawing, and animating. At BEEAM, Hannah is interning in the Laboratory for Biologically Inspired Photonic Engineering, which skillfully combines both science and art. It has been a wonderful opportunity for her to explore them and meet kind, talented, and supportive people who share her interests.
Hannah is working in the Laboratory for Biologically Inspired Photonic Engineering under the mentorship of Professor Mathias Kolle and graduate students Benjamin Miller and Hannah Feldstein. The objective of this project is to create a unique synthesizer that uses color-changing stretchable materials to turn visual patterns into sound. Because standard musical synthesizers tend to be clunky and contain buttons, they are usually not ideal for encouraging a user to express their full creativity. However, by creating a synthesizer that accepts more continuous and freeform inputs, users will feel more inclined to explore not only the creative possibilities of the synthesizer but also those of themselves. This project is heavily nature-inspired, taking advantage of thin-film interference and elastomers, among other phenomena. Integrating these natural phenomena into an innovative and useful device bridges science and art, demonstrating the significance of the A in STEAM. So far, she has been working with her mentors to develop code as well as design the physical synthesizer itself. She is very much looking forward to continuing this work and creating something unique, useful, and beautiful.
Lucy Engels – Cambridge Rindge and Latin
I am a rising junior at Cambridge Ringe and Latin School (CRLS) who is passionate about computer science. At school, my favorite subject is Computer Science, tied with Math. I love all things code and computer related, particularly coding in Python and artificial intelligence. Besides my interest in STEM, I’m also a very creative person. I am a member of the CRLS a cappella group Fermata Nowhere, and practice guitar and piano outside of school. I also love creative writing, reading, baking, and singing. After high school, I plan to get a degree in Computer Science, specializing in cybersecurity.
I have been working in the Henry Lab at MIT to understand thermal conductivity. Thermal conductivity is crucial for the performance of micro-and-nanoelectrical systems. These systems have applications in every form of electronics. The goal of the research is to understand the factors that influence thermal conductivity across semiconductor interfaces. Understanding these factors is essential for developing improved electrical systems. This is achieved through using LAMMPS (Large-scale Atomic/Molecular Massively Parallel Simulator) to run simulations. Over the course of the summer, I have been using Python to develop code to analyze the results of the simulations and to create the simulations.
Mariela Allen-Cadet – Cambridge Rindge and Latin
I’m a rising eleventh grader at Cambridge Rindge and Latin. I’ve been doing STEM related activities since I was in kindergarten and My favorite subjects were biology and chemistry. In spare time, I love painting outside with my friends and having movie nights with them. I also really like to keep up with current events and i read the news everyday to discuss with my friend group. After high school, I hope to major in biomedical engineering and combine my passion for humanitarian causes with my scientific background.
I have been working in the Shalek lab to understand some of the inner workings of epithelial cells. Epithelial cells are the cells are the surface of organs and they provide functions like sensory reception, filtration and protection. This summer, I worked on two smaller components of the larger project: plasmid transfection of epithelial cells and intermixing of red and green cells. For most of the summer, CellProfiler was utilized to complete image analysis and those results were input into Pandas in Jupyterlab. During the term, I learned image analysis skills and was able to determine the meaning of the analyzed images.
Astrid Dalton – Cambridge Rindge and Latin
“Astrid is a Junior at CRLS. She’s interested in all things STEM, but mainly focuses on biology, engineering, and computer science. Though her main academic focus is biotechnology, she loves history – and any other class in which she gets to write – too. In addition to participating in BEEAM, Astrid is co-president of Biotech club, one of the captains on the Robotics team, and part of Debate club.
Outside of scholastic activities, Astrid loves to hike. Recently, she’s gotten into cosplaying and is currently designing a steampunk costume.”
This year, Astrid’s research was centered around PERSIST, a post-transcriptional RNA regulation platform. Over the summer, she worked with Noreen and Katherine, her mentors, to analyze a toggle switch implemented using PERSIST proteins in stochastic modeling software. This fall, she identified an oscillator motif and used simulations in MATLAB to figure out how to implement it in cells. This spring, Astrid continued to work with Noreen to broaden the set of oscillator motifs examined.