10 May Aditya Daita
My Story, By Aditya Daita, 2017 Stem Cell Research Internship Student.
Attended undergraduate at UC Berkeley.
Throughout high school, I always loved science and reading about scientific discoveries. Interested to learn first-hand how discoveries are made, I applied to the Stem Cell Research Internship Program at Pathways to Stem Cell Science (Pathways) and was accepted into their 2017 program.
After a week of laboratory training, I interned in the research laboratories at HMRI, assisting their scientists with creating a safe assay to measure brain degeneration in the urine of Alzheimer’s patients. I also worked for several weeks in Pathways’ biotech research facility, alongside Pathways founder, Dr. Victoria Fox. At Pathways my project focused on developing engineered stem cells for use in biomedical research and disease modeling studies, tying in perfectly with my interest in neurodegenerative diseases.
These experiences showed me how to work independently, think analytically, and apply the scientific method to investigate relevant questions. Through being in a professional lab with experienced science mentors I gained a new outlook on life, focused career goals and the motivation to achieve them.
Real-world science training allows people who seek a future in any science field to get professional hands-on experience and understand the techniques, methods, and attitudes in that field. My experience at Pathways, in the Stem Cell Research Internship program has inspired me to contribute towards the alleviation of neurological diseases, which I have since achieved in three critical ways:
Fundraising: Having gained a real-world understanding of the importance of Alzheimer’s disease research, I participated in fundraising activities, releasing a video of my own Sitar (Indian musical) compositions which raised $2,190. I also released and sold many copies of my first comic book for which I’m the author and illustrator. In both cases, 100% of the proceeds were donated to the Alzheimer’s Association to support research, awareness and education.
Volunteering: Motivated to do more, I volunteered at the Pleasanton Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, aiding patients suffering from Alzheimer’s and Dementia. I also volunteered at Stanford Health Care Hospital’s clinical lab, helping doctors collect and process patient samples. These experiences enabled me to build upon the practical skills I gained during the Stem Cell Research Internship Program.
College education: I applied to and was accepted into every University of California campus in addition to several private institutions. Several of these offers included scholarships and/or research grant awards. I have chosen to pursue a major in Neurobiology at UC Berkeley and, will begin my freshman year in the fall.
For those who love science, seek hands-on experience or insights into the many possibilities that science holds, I would strongly recommend learning more through volunteering, outreach and real-world training programs like those at Pathways to Stem Cell Science.