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Alumni E-News

Emily Ong ’17: Why am I thankful for my experience at Lake Forest College?

Why am I thankful for my experience at Lake Forest College? 


Lake Forest College introduced me to one of the many loves of my life: 



My first neuroscience class my sophomore year was an experience like I never had before. I delved into challenging primary literature on neurodegenerative diseases in lecture, held a human brain in my hands in lab, and used what I learned in both aspects of the class to teach third graders from North Chicago all about the brain. My professor, Dr. Shubhik DebBurman, asked me to join his lab shortly thereafter to study Parkinson’s Disease using yeast models.


Now, still working in Dr. DebBurman’s lab my senior year, I have reflected on all that I’ve gained. This past summer, I won second place for presenting my research in the undergraduate poster competition at American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics’ (ASPET) 2016 Great Lakes Chapter Annual Meeting, which highlights the major advances in neurological diseases and provides an opportunity for students to learn about the field. The same summer I was also awarded a grant from the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation for my senior thesis work.


Aside from the concrete benefits, working in Dr. DebBurman’s lab has also given me intangible benefits that will last a lifetime. It has instilled in me diligence, perseverance, humbleness, and a great appreciation and enthusiasm for research, which has the power to benefit everyone—even those who don’t eat, sleep, and breathe science.


As a lover and student of science, I hope to share all the good it can do through the practice of medicine. I don’t think I would be as passionate and well-prepared for the road ahead without all Lake Forest College has given me.

With gratitude, 

Emily Ong ’17