Helen spent summer 2015 in Taipei, Taiwan conducting medical research at National Taiwan University. She was placed in a laboratory on the medical school campus, which is affiliated with the National Taiwan University Hospital at the NTU Center of Genomic Medicine. Through the course of her internship, Helen used python and R to sort and analyze data to find statistically significant genes. The purpose was to identify biological processes and pathways that consistently displayed differential expression between groups. She had to adjust her skills for multiple testing and to examine groups of gene sets. She also investigated the effectiveness of the drug Paclitaxel on these genes and helped NTU students that were releasing R packages with the technical editing of their English research papers.
THIS INTERNSHIP HELPED ME REALIZE THE GLOBAL APPLICATION OF A CAREER IN COMPUTER SCIENCE AND MOLECULAR BIOLOGY AND HOW IT IS A RAPIDLY GROWING FIELD IN PLACES OTHER THAN THE UNITED STATES. I LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING IF I CAN HAVE SIMILAR EXPERIENCES IN OTHER COUNTRIES AND CULTURES IN THE SAME FIELD.
Learning the Language
At the lab, Helen spoke mainly Mandarin. Prior to going to Taiwan, her Chinese writing and reading skills were quite limited; however over the course of the summer, her Chinese skills greatly improved.