Congratulations to Ryan on concluding his STARS summer research experience!

From left to right: Allison Martinez Mejia, Ryan Hardwick, Song Hu.

Ryan Hardwick is a rising senior at John Burrough’s high school who completed a summer research experience as part of the UMSL STARS program. He spent 6 weeks working under the mentorship of PhD candidate Allison Martinez Mejia, Dr. Jin-Moo Lee, and Dr. Song Hu.

His work consisted in optimizing rodent microsurgery techniques needed for longitudinal studies of the brain using optical and photoacoustic imaging. Being co-mentored allowed Ryan to observe how medicine and engineering come together as he also had the opportunity to shadow clinical research.

He reflects on the importance of merging medicine and technology. “I thought it was very eye-opening to see the problems that the lab was trying to fix in terms of a concrete interaction, and it really gave purpose to all the research,” said Hardwick.

Ryan affirmed that this summer experience motivated him to pursue a career in STEM in the future. “This experience definitely challenged me in the way that it made me really think about what I want to investigate,” he remarked.

The Hu Lab is delighted to have hosted him and contribute to shaping young minds in STEM.

Ryan’s final STARS presentation.