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Shannon Walsh ’16

1walsh.jpgWhat is your major?

Biochemistry

What did you think of the book?

As a science major, I really enjoyed reading the book. It opened me up to a whole different side of science that I have never thought about before. After reading the controversial story about Henrietta and her family, I have become more and more interested in the world bioethics. It is such a powerful story that I will always carry with me, especially as I plan to enter the health sciences for my career.

What was it like to work with cells that have been so important to medicine and science?

Working with the HeLa cells was a really intriguing experience. When Dr. Markert passed tubes of HeLa cells out to the class to begin our experiment, I vividly remember looking down at the little tube, amazed at how some tiny little cells so could be so important in medicine and science. I immediately connected on a personal level, realizing that these cells were central to the polio vaccine and the HPV vaccine, both of which I have personally received. I thought of my aunt, who fought through cervical cancer. Would she have survived if it wasn't for the advancements this small strain of cells brought about?

Did you like the hands-on aspect of the course?

The hands-on course of the lab was fun. In high school, we mostly read about these experiments from our textbooks. But at PC, we were actually working with cells and studying them in person.

What do you think of the idea of having a common reading that can be applied to a course?

The common reading program offered everyone in the freshman class a chance to connect with one another. It was interesting to see how other students from different majors reacted to the book. I am also excited to start working on a special HeLa project with Dr. Markert next semester that we will present at the next science poster session at PC.

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