Yung Lee is one of 10 IIDR trainees to have received the Institute’s prestigious Summer Fellowship Award. The highly competitive fellowship, now in its fourth year and worth $1,000, is designed to support students working in the labs of IIDR members during their summer practicum, which runs from May to August.
Whose lab are you working in and what drew you to their research?
I work in Dr. Charu Kaushic’s lab. I have always had a keen interest in the fields of infectious diseases and immunology, and there is no better place to explore these two fields than Dr. Kaushic’s lab.
Describe your research project
My research project focuses on developing a novel cell culture model that accurately mimics the female reproductive tract. This model will allow us to study the interactions between sexually transmitted viruses and the host cells, which will lead us to solutions to prevent the perpetuation of these viruses.
What are the real world applications of your research?
With this cell culture model we can study a number of sexually transmitted diseases and how they interact with the host. This is just one example of the cutting-edge work happening in the Kaushic Lab right now.
What do you hope to accomplish during your fellowship?
This fellowship will allow me to become a better scientist. Ultimately, I want to be able to think more critically, as well as come up with my own research questions and answer them through scientific methods.
How will this fellowship allow you to do this?
Through this fellowship I will learn more about the fields of infectious diseases and immunology. When working in a lab you encounter scientific failures and other struggles on a regular basis, but it is these experiences that elevate you to be a better scientist and researcher.
What is your end goal, in terms of a career?
My goal is to become a clinician scientist.