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Laura Chen '22 Successfully Isolates Gene

Rudy Brandl

Laura Chen ‘22, a rising junior at The Wardlaw+Hartridge School, recently reached a milestone in her scientific studies. Laura successfully isolated a gene in the Molecular Science course offered by the Waksman Institute at Rutgers University and her findings were accepted for publication in the NCBI database of the National Institute of Health. She and the other students enrolled in the course have been working on this research all summer. 

“It takes a lot of hard work and persistence to get a gene from this course accepted for publication,” said Dr. Susan Zusman, W+H biology teacher. “In spite of today's uncertainties, it is nice to know our students still can accomplish so much.”

In the Molecular Science Course at Wardlaw+Hartridge, students take part in a nationally funded program that involves a collaborative effort between several high schools in New Jersey and the Waksman Institute of Rutgers University. This course provides students a unique  “hands-on” learning opportunity using the latest techniques in molecular biology and bioinformatics. The students have an experience that is not only enriching, educational and thought provoking, but they do original research and have the opportunity to publish their findings. 

Dr. Zusman takes pride in the work of her students, which also provides recognition for Wardlaw+Hartridge as the school is named in the publication in the NCBI database. She added that fellow W+H students Amiteij Sappal of Edison and Anna Razvi of Somerset previously were published in the same database this year.