NAME: Yael Gau
HOMETOWN: Export, PA
MAJOR: Biology/Health Professions
FAVORITE THING ABOUT SHIPPENSBURG:
The professors and their commitment to the students! Many of them know me by name as I walk around campus, and many want to keep in touch! They want to assist you beyond classes, beyond labs. I couldn’t begin to count how many professors have shaped my education dramatically here, and it’s a great feeling knowing that a recommendation letter written for you will be written from the heart. Dr. Elliott, Professor of Biology, is a professor who has helped me realize that biomedical research is my calling. Taking part in such a well-funded Joint Undergraduate/Faculty Research Program that promotes students to go beyond the textbook and apply concepts has shown me that academic excellence doesn’t just start in the classroom; it begins at the professor’s office hours. I love Shippensburg University for giving me the rare opportunity to do two years of my own research as an undergraduate student here, and for providing me with the best possible guidance to perform it.
TWO INTERESTING THINGS ABOUT ME:
I am a dual citizen of France and the United States and I am bilingual.
Vice-President of the Biology Nerds, Member of Tri-Beta (Biological Honors Society), Vice-President of Biology of the Scientific Research Forum
STUDENT RESEARCH EXPERIENCE:
My research project for the last two years has been determining the role of autophagy in clearance of Shigella flexneri from glioma cells. In plain terms, I’m researching how brain cancer cells react under certain conditions to an infection with dysentery. I measure the reaction and try to determine if autophagy (an immunological pathway for cell survival) changes the course of the infection. We presented our findings last year at the Pennsylvania Academy of Science and the Celebration of Student Research here at Ship and plan to do so again this year with more data and experience.
MOST MEANINGFUL LEARNING EXPERIENCE AT SHIP:
The most memorable event that comes to mind is when Dr. Elliott prepared me for the Pennsylvania Academy of Science conference last April. I learned how to present a poster of my research and be comfortable speaking to complete strangers about my endeavors. To be a researcher, you need more than intelligence and organization. You require confidence in yourself, your methods and your project. Dr. Elliott helped me gain that confidence in myself.
COMMUNITY SERVICE/VOLUNTEER ACTIVITIES:
I volunteered at Chambersburg Hospital and Shippensburg Health Care Center. I have worked for food pantries, organized blood drives, judged science fairs and try to do a full day of volunteering once a semester.
WHAT I DO FOR FUN:
I love to read scientific and historical fiction. I play the piano, watch movies, and hang out with friends in my spare time.
MY PLANS AFTER GRADUATION:
I plan to go for a master’s degree in
Biotechnology, Microbiology or Immunology and work in a biomedical research