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Hojung Rachel Park

In high school, Rachel explored her interests in STEM through the school’s Math, Engineering, and Science Academy (MESA). As a fellow, aspiring female engineer, she noticed the immense gender gap in the fields of STEM, so she mentored at a student-run bridge camp that targeted middle school girls interested in engineering. In the summer before senior year, she interned at the Aman and Okusa nephrology labs at the University of Virginia Department of Medicine. There she focused on the effects of the FTY drug on Ischemia Reperfusion Injury in the kidney, and was later named a co-author of the published article in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology. Feeling fortunate enough to have had an opportunity at a research lab, she founded the Open Bio Labs Club that linked the local biology labs with high school students, providing a medium for students to experience hands-on lab experiments and explore their intellectual curiosities. Additionally, Rachel combined her interests in engineering and medical research for the science fair by creating a cheap, accessible contactless tonometer for at-risk patients of Glaucoma.

Rachel Park

Currently, Rachel is doing research at the Saenger Lab of the Hematology/Oncology department at the Columbia University Medical Center. Her project revolves around Sarcoma, a rare form of cancer that occurs in the bones and connective tissues, and tissue analysis using various computer softwares, such as inForm and Halo. Regarding this project, she was able to attend the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting at Chicago this past summer with her lab team.

On campus, Rachel is a part of the Undergraduate Recruitment Committee and is a member of Kappa Alpha Theta. In her free time, she absolutely loves going to concerts in the city/Brooklyn, hiking to the top of a mountain where she can wallow under the mesmerizing scenery for hours, and binge-watching movies with some flamin' hot cheetos and Westside homemade cookies.