Biological Sciences School graduate student Ashley Fong, in Professor and Chair Christopher Hughes’ lab, won first place in the first-ever University of California Grad Slam. In just three minutes, she succinctly explained her complex stem cell research in her talk titled, “Stem Cells: How to Mend a Broken Heart,” such that the general public could understand her research. Her work focuses on the heart microenvironment and how that affects stem cell-derived heart muscle cell growth. The type of stem cells that turn into heart muscle cells are initially immature, hence unsafe and ineffective for use in transplantation or drug screening. Her and other researchers’ objective is to mature these potentially new heart muscle cells.
Read more about the competition here http://news.uci.edu/features/ashley-fong-wins-grad-slam/ and here http://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/grad-slam.