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Meet Lauren Reese ’23 Reese was motivated by her summer research experience to pursue a career in medicine.

Lauren-Reese-2-scaled-600x400 Meet Lauren Reese ’23

We love it when classes are in session here on campus, but the learning doesn’t stop when summer starts! Summers offer unique opportunities for Washington and Lee University students to explore their interests and gain valuable professional experience, and W&L’s abundant resources make it easy to find internships and research opportunities across the country and around the world.

As part of the Faces of W&L series, we caught up with W&L students about their unique summer experiences. Learn more about student summer opportunities here.

Name: Lauren Reese ’23
Major: Neuroscience
Hometown: Dallas, Texas

Last summer I worked in the Brown Goldstein Lab at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Texas, conducting research through the Dana’s Angels Research Trust (DART) Fellowship. DART is a nonprofit organization that funds research opportunities on Neimann-Pick Disease Type C exclusively for Washington and Lee students. Neimann-Pick Type C is a rare childhood genetic condition characterized by the accumulation of cholesterol in the lysosome causing progressive neurodegeneration.

The Brown Goldstein Lab has been pioneering research in molecular genetics, specifically cholesterol mechanisms, for more than half a decade. While working there I learned how to use CRISPR-Cas9 technology to knock out specific genes to assess their role in the pathway of cholesterol through the cell. My daily responsibilities included helping maintain cell lines and conducting experiments.

I am very grateful to the Marella Family and W&L for this amazing opportunity. The more we learn about cholesterol, the closer we become to finding therapies for many life-threatening conditions, including Neimann-Pick Type C. This experience has motivated me to pursue research interests in my future career as a physician and I am very excited to see where this takes me.