Avery Whipple ’23

During the summer of 2022 I had the privilege of taking part in the National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates (NSF-REU ) program. Based at the University of California San Francisco, I spent 10 weeks working full time under Dengke Ma in his genetics laboratory, focusing on developing a deeper understanding of the biological basis of cellular and organismic stress resilience.  


During my time off from the lab, I explored all the bookstores and coffee shops that the city had to offer with the many friends I made along the way.  


I first became interested in research when I enrolled in the REACH Seminar (Research, Exploration, Arts Creativity, Honors) offered by Powell Scholars Program Director Courtney Lehmann. That seminar served as the spark that led me to join two research laboratories at University of the Pacific as well as to apply myself to earn prestigious research opportunities such as the NSF-REU program.  


Thanks to the Powell Scholars Program, I was able to spend my summer exploring what life as an MD/PhD scientist might look like.