Stephanie Hadley graduated this May from Harvard College with a concentration in Human Developmental and Regenerative Biology. Before she jets off to Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, Tennessee this summer, Stephanie found time to talk to Matrix about her all-time favorite class at Harvard, the unofficial book club she belongs to with her grandfather, and her startling fresh fruit deprivation.
Matrix: Did you spend any time in a lab here while working on your degree?
Stephanie: I was part of the HSCI Summer Internship program over the summer of 2014, and I’ve worked in Doug Melton’s lab for the last two years on the beta cell differentiation project, aimed at making beta cells from human embryonic stem cells. Both were amazing opportunities for an undergraduate.
Matrix: So you’re obviously a go-getter Stephanie. What about coursework? Did you have a favorite class at Harvard?
Stephanie: Definitely SCRB 167, Stem Cells and Regeneration in the Pathobiology and Treatment of Human Disease. It was taught at the Medical School by Dr. George Daley, and by Dr. Leonard Zon when I took it. Each week we had a guest lecturer who was an expert on a particular disease come in, and we simultaneously read papers about the latest research in that field. The class was also visited by a patient who had the disease being discussed. The patients’ stories are unbelievable and very moving, and it’s great to be able to connect with them. Everything comes together in the class for a really unique experience.
Matrix: That sounds like a fabulous class. But when you’re not cramming your head full of medical knowledge and science, do you take time off to read anything for fun? If so tell us about your last literary undertaking.
Stephanie: I read Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Lauren Hillenbrand – the movie version just came out last year. I loved the book and read it in two days. It’s a very intense and dramatic story of an Olympic runner who gets drafted into World War II as a pilot. My grandfather recommended it to me!
Matrix: Your grandfather sounds very well-read! And now for the whacky question we’ve all been waiting for: What’s the one thing that’s always in your fridge?
Stephanie: Berries – I love raspberries and strawberries. I have to buy them because you can’t get berries in the dining hall – we’re deprived!
Matrix: I had no idea that things had reached such a state at Harvard, Stephanie. This is berry, berry bad indeed.