Waltham Senior High School
Waltham, MA

Emma Vaimberg, Meagan Sullender, and Mudra Hegde
Genetic Perturbation Platform

Nathalie became interested in science in her seventh-grade biology class. She applied for the Broad Summer Scholars Program to find out whether or not a career in science could be right for her.

Nathalie first determined ideal transfection conditions for delivering plasmid DNA into a breast cancer cell line. Using these conditions, she transfected Cas9, an sgRNA that targets a mutant green fluorescent protein (GFP) gene, and a repair template (small single-stranded DNA oligonucleotide). The goal of her project was to repair the mutant gene such that GFP was repaired and expressed in the cells. Her work lays the foundations for other researchers who want to use this protocol for genetic engineering and gene therapy purposes.

Nathalie’s favorite part of the Broad was its interdisciplinary nature. She loved the frequency and volume of presentations and events that gave her a chance to learn about research taking place in other labs across the institute.