A Summer of Research at CHOP

Leonardo Huang Headshot

Leonardo Huang, COL ’24, Norwood, PA

During the summer, I was offered the opportunity to continue my research in the Canna Lab located at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia under the direct tutelage of Dr. Scott Canna. In addition to being able to independently lead my own research project focusing on determining the relationship between different cytokines and a specific inflammasome, I was also able to be involved in the other aspects of the lab, enabling me to truly experience grow as a scientist.

Despite having previously worked in the same lab, what I was able to learn and accomplish over the course of my summer research experience was beyond what I could have ever imagined. Besides learning the necessary techniques required to conduct the experiments for my own project, such as cell culturing, cell transfection, etc., I was also given the opportunity to assist the other lab members with their projects and experiments, allowing me to further advance my knowledge in the field and gain valuable skills necessary for my growth as both a student and as a scientist. 

This summer experience not only allowed me to grow as a scientist and further discover my passion, but it also made me learn valuable lessons beyond the physical components of conducting research. I learned how there will be times in life where you can put in hours upon hours of work and the results will still not be ideal and how that is completely okay and acceptable, as there were often times during the summer where I could not get an experiment to work no matter how hard I tried. I also learned how science and research is a field filled with mysteries waiting to be discovered and that there never will truly be an end to it. Using a quote from my PI, “the reason we do experiments is so that we can do more experiments.” Science isn’t a field where there will ever be an experiment or discovery that provides an answer to everything. All research conducted will lead to more questions that need to be answered, therefore allowing mankind to continue to evolve and progress to levels we cannot even imagine.

In all, this summer opportunity didn’t just give me research experience, it provided gave me an insight into how fascinating and important research is to the world and how humans have barely scratched the surface of what there is to be discovered. All of this would not have been possible without the continuous support of my lab and the funding from Career Services. My lab members gave me the opportunity to discover my passion and grow as a scientist, while also providing me with the confidence to march forward, no matter how many setbacks I encountered during my experiments. The Career Services Summer Funding allowed me to focus all my energy on conducting research and not have to worry about the cost of living over the summer. Thus, I want to thank them for their support and this meaningful experience would not have been possible without it.

This is part of a series of posts by recipients of the 2023 Career Services Summer Funding Grant. We’ve asked funding recipients to reflect on their summer experiences and talk about the industries in which they spent their summer. You can read the entire series here

By Career Services
Career Services