Quabbin Regional High School
Barre, MA

Jason Wright
Zhang Lab

From the first time he got his hands on ball-and-stick chemistry toys, William could not get enough of science. He decided to apply for the Broad Summer Scholars Program after taking an online course taught by the Broad’s director, Dr. Eric Lander.

William spent his summer developing methods for the high-throughput generation of cell lines with targeted reporters of gene expression. Visually detecting levels of gene expression in cells under study is a powerful tool, but previously the creation of such cell lines has been a time- and labor-intensive endeavor. William’s project piloted the use of non-homologous end joining in combination with site-specific synthetic transcription factors to generate human pluripotent cell lines with targeted fluorescent reporters of gene expression. Using this approach, William was able to generate a reporter cell line for the gene CDKN2A.

William’s favorite part of working at the Broad was the culture of creativity. “It feels like anything is possible at Broad, and I love it,” said William. His summer gave him the “research bug” and firmly cemented his interest in pursuing a biology major in college.