I had the honor of spending my summer interning in the Jonathan Butcher Lab which is a biomedical engineering lab researching heart disease and inflammation. My project has been studying aortic valvulogenesis, the process through which the aortic heart valve forms. I have been using a mouse model and fluorescent imaging to track the expression of various inflammatory proteins with the hoping of gaining a better understanding of the signaling pathway involved in this process. This information could be really valuable for understanding congenital heart disorders and potentially even help elucidating the conditions necessary to bioengineer valves. This experience was really incredible because I had the opportunity to be involved in designing the project, not just in carrying it out. My next academic goal is getting my Bachelors degree in Cell and Developmental Biology from UC Berkeley, and then medical school! I would absolutely recommend this program for future MESA students.