Hello! My name is Jenny Jin, and I am a rising junior pursuing a Neuroscience major and Chemistry and CS minor. In addition to research, I enjoy various creative pursuits in my free time such as sketching or playing music. Recently, I learned how to play the ukulele!
My research mentor is Dr. Zhang Manling, from the department of Cardiology. Our lab has been focused on examining how Mettl14, a gene coding for a transcription factor, is involved in cardiac development. During cardiac development, various processes take place that prepare the heart and the cardiomyocytes constituting the heart to be ready to contract and pump blood throughout the body. In a way, cardiac development processes model processes that could take place to help a damaged heart recover after injury. This summer, I will be focusing on a particular process that occurs during cardiac development. I will be specifically studying the effects of Mettl14 on cardiomyocyte proliferation rate, or the rate of division of cardiomyocytes. This research is especially important because cardiomyocytes have limited regenerative ability after injury, so determining the role and function of Mettl14, particularly in the cardiomyocyte proliferation, could yield a potential cardiac regeneration therapeutic that could help in cardiac diseases, a primary cause of death and disability in the United States.
I am still currently figuring out my professional goals. I love medicine and scientific exploration and experimentation. I want to go to medical school, and I want to continue research. However, I am still trying to decide which will be my focus and how I can incorporate both in my future career. I also have various academic and non-academic interests that I want to continue, so I am in the process of determining how I can merge my interests together and cohesively so. Participating in the Health Sciences Research Fellowship can help me in this process because I know that research will be part of my career. In the HSRF, I have the privilege of sharing my research and learning from a community of other health sciences researchers. I can practice communicating my research and even find new topics of interests, commonalities and differences between my research with others, and peers who I can critically engage with to enhance my research and its value by taking into consideration other perspectives. All of these can strengthen my ability to collaborate with others in research and allow me to become a more independent researcher.