I would like to study human evolutionary genetics and work on the African Genetic Diversity Project under Dr. Sarah A. Tishkoff. I am currently very intrigued by the primate evolution research I am working on at the Laboratory of Genomic Diversity at the National Cancer Institute, and I would like to extend my efforts and focus more on human evolution. I believe studying human evolution is important to disease research, because certain human populations may carry genetic information that may help them be resistant to certain viruses and diseases. For example, my lab recently found a gene in people of European descent that makes them more resistant to HIV. Researchers believe survivors of the Black Plague passed this gene to their descendants. If we can study the genetic variation of different groups of people, especially people of African descent, where diseases are rampant, we can possibly uncover other genetic information that may be important in understanding disease resistance.
When I first began my college search many summers ago, I told myself that I wanted to go to an urban school. I have grown up in the suburbs practically all my life, and I wanted a change. I wanted to experience the commotion and the energy associated with life in the city. Immediately, the University of Pennsylvania, located in Philadelphia, caught my eye. In the next months and years leading up to today, I visited the college website, read the brochures, and went on college tours to get myself more acquainted with the school. The more I learned about the University of Pennsylvania, the more in love with it I felt.
I want to attend the University of Pennsylvania, because it is one of the leading research facilities in the nation with a top-notch biology department. Ever since I was eight, when I learned about the anatomy of the human body, I have been intrigued by biology. I have always been fascinated by how viruses and bacteria-microorganisms so miniscule that they are not visible to the naked eye-could kill a humans-organisms many times their size. Since then, I have dreamed about becoming a scientist. The summer following my junior year, I was selected under the Werner H. Kirsten internship program to intern at the National Cancer Institute, one of the leading research facilities in the world. My internship experience further proved that science was the right path for me. I enjoy doing experiments, collaborating with other scientists in the laboratory, and listening to lectures given by top scientists. Waiting for result is like watching an invigorating thriller movie-suspenseful and unpredictable. An education from the University of Pennsylvania will further provide me with the skills to pursue my dreams. At the University of Pennsylvania I can study biology under top-notch professors who are conducting frontier research in their fields, and I can engage in stimulating, fast-paced lectures and discussions with professors and other students. I can even make potentially groundbreaking discoveries as a student by conducting research as an undergraduate during the school year and participating in summer research internships.
When I visited campus two years ago, I was taken aback by its beauty. The antique and unique architecture of the buildings set to the backdrop of the lush green lawns made the scenery very aesthetically pleasing, like a fairyland. I loved how the lotus walk was crammed with flyers of all sizes and color, underscoring the fact that there are always exciting events taking place on campus. The unique school spirit at the university unites all the diverse students under one umbrella and further makes campus more appealing.
Finally, I was excited to learn that the University of Pennsylvania has a very active Chinese Students' Association. Having attended a very culturally diverse elementary school when I was younger, I have come to realize that the diversity has helped me become more appreciative and more accepting of other people's cultures and views. But sadly, not everyone shared my opportunity. I thus see myself as an active member of the Chinese Students' Association, promoting cultural awareness and appreciation. The club, through the Chinatown Tutoring Program, is also a great way for me to apply what I learn inside the classroom outside in society and give back to my community.
I am an ideal candidate for the University of Pennsylvania, because I am very passionate about research, and I would like to study under the best professors and researchers in the field. I also believe in giving back to society and helping others who are less fortunate than me, and I believe that the University, which is very integrated with Philadelphia, is an ideal place where I can exercise my dreams.