Hello! I am Veronica Zhang, a 2019 TRIP member. I am currently a sophomore at Hatboro-Horsham High School. Throughout the years, I have always carried a deep passion for science, especially biology, with me. Growing up, I was surrounded by family members who devoted their lives to research or treating patients, so I was exposed to all sorts of medical terminology and concepts from a young age. Sitting at the dinner table with my family every night was my favorite part of my childhood days since I was able to learn about the methods that my relatives used to diagnose and treat their patients. I decided to take my love for science to the next level when I applied for a two-month long internship at the Freshwater Fisheries Research Center in Wuxi, China. Those were possibly the best two months of my life! I was able to work in a real genetics lab and work with the model organism of the zebra-fish. My responsibilities included the aquaculture of the zebra-fish, gathering samples, and performing trials of DNA extraction and PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction). The goal of the research team that I was a part of was to see if knocked-out genes would carry on to the next generation of zebra-fish and if the next generation would exhibit any unusual behavior or harmful mutations to their genes. This experience allowed me to get an inside look of the research behind gene therapy and how applicable it can be in the real world. I still vividly remember the thrill that I always felt whenever I put on the white lab coat and picked up the micro-pipette in the laboratory, and that is one of the reasons I applied to join the TRIP Initiative.
Apart from my devotion to science, I am also extremely committed to playing the piano. I have been playing since I was 5 and have currently been playing for more than 10 years. I have been fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to perform at Carnegie Hall six times in the past several years. You could say that I feel at home both in the lab and on the stage! In addition, I enjoy travelling with my family. I have been to Australia, Russia, China, and Canada. My favorite part of traveling is being able to visit historical landmarks that I learned about in school and also to be able to connect with the locals and learn the country’s culture.
I also enjoyed running track during my middle school years. My favorite event to run was the 4 x 100 baton relay, but I also ran the 400m event. I am an active participant and leader of the Future Business Leaders of America club, the Future Medical Leaders of America club, the Interact club, and the Hat Chat newspaper at my school. In addition, I am a member of Hatboro-Horsham’s Science Club and Key Club. Finally, I aspire to pursue a career in the emergency medicine or surgical department in the future. I am so excited to get involved in the TRIP Initiative and to meet other fellow high school-ers who are also interested in science!