Intern Stories

Ava Daniel

Ava is a senior at Mill High School. "Participating in the STaRS internship has changed my life. Not only have I worked alongside incredible doctors, I have learned first-hand how to thrive in a fully-functioning lab environment. I've always enjoyed math and science, but with the encouragement and knowledge I've gained here, I've been inspired to make my dreams a reality. The friendships I've created here will last a lifetime, too! I'm so thankful I have had this opportunity!"

Emily Zhang

"I love swimming, running and hiking during my free time and through seeing how injury can impact these activities I have developed an interest in bone regeneration. I am very happy to be working at Dr. Helms' lab and explore the field of reconstructive science."

Sydnee Hyman

Sydnee received her B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from Purdue University this May. She is currently working on a computational model of tooth eruption. She wants to pursue a PhD in the field of Bioengineering with a focus on Regenerative Medicine.

Annie Kim

Annie is a senior at Menlo School and spent her summer at Dr. Jill Helms' lab studying the role of WNT-responsive cells in ossification.

Morgan Terry

Morgan just graduated from Palo Alto Preparatory and spent his summer at Dr. Helms lab studying the restorative potential of the dentine pulp complex. He is currently exploring his choices for college.

Danielle Mitchell

Danielle Mitchell is a senior at Castilleja School. She has had an incredible summer at Dr. Helms lab studying bone growth in spinal fusions.

Neil Movva

Neil came to the lab after some of his own work on biomaterials and tissue engineering. Now, he studies the interplay between tissue physiology and localized strains, building predictive finite element analysis models and testing them with experimental histology.

Seiji Yokota


"STARS has been a wonderful experience for me. Not only was the work fascinating, but interacting and collaborating with a Stanford lab was fun. My team researched the relationship between WNT protein pathway activation and the expression of certain proteins."

Zion Kanehailua

Currently attending Pescadero High; spent his summer working at Dr. Helms lab studying topical penetration (skin team).

Brian Woo

Brian is a senior at James Logan High School in Union City, CA. He spent his 2012 summer with Dr. Girija Dhamdhere at Dr. Helms' lab studying liposomal Wnt3a.

Ubah Dimbil

Undergraduate senior student at Stanford University, Ubah is spending some of her time at Dr. Helms lab investigating the rate limiting step of Wnt3a secretion from CHO-S cells. She intends to major in Biology and attend Medical school.

Hera Nalbandian

Hera is a senior at Reseda High School in Los Angeles and dedicated her 2013 summer to study the effect of Wnt signaling on skin graft survival.

Disha Bahl

Disha is currently a junior at Monta Vista High School in Cupertino, CA. She has spent the past year at Dr. Helms lab. Her recent summer research focused on the mechanism of Wnt signaling restoring osteogenesis in aged specimen.

Mariam Ghanbari

Stanford undergraduate student spending her summer (2013) at Dr. Jill Helms' lab.

Neal Viswanath

Neal is an undergrad at Arizona State University. "The lab introduced me to a variety of new subjects, people and materials. I feel more confident in my lab work and problem-solving abilities and I'm grateful to have had the opportunity to work here during the 2015 summer."

Addis Getahun

Addis is a junior at Maybeck High School in Berkeley. "I've learned a lot about WNT and its role in bone healing and regeneration under the guidance of my mentor Jingtao Li. I hope to use what I've learned to make the world a better place!"

Ashvita Ramesh

"I am absolutely thrilled to be part of the complex cutting-edge research that is being performed in the Helms lab. Being able to work with WNT3A while reading scientific articles about the role of this protein in the human body really put the theoretical scientific concepts of the classroom into perspective for me. This experience has really allowed me to appreciate the field of regenerative medicine."

Ethan Shen

Ethan is a senior at Cupertino High School and is working on identifying and characterizing wnt-responsive cells in the long bone.

Anna Matthews

A senior at Lydian Academy in Menlo Park, Anna Matthews investigated the therapeutical potential of WNT activated bone grafts and assisted in quantifying GFP positive cells over total cells in bone graft material and an intact tibia. She plans to study Neuroscience or Genetics.

Jack Doering

Jack is studying Neuroscience and hopes to go to grad school and eventually become a college professor. In addition, Jack enjoys rock climbing and skiing.

Joel Lee

"STARS was an incredible experience for me. It not only allowed me to conduct research in regenerative science but also exposed me to other areas of science and graduate studies. I personally learned a lot about CT scans and how to analyze them."

Hayson Chui

"I had a great time participating in STARS this summer. I enjoyed researching the effects of the removal of the DYRK1A gene and I have made many new friends. In addition, I have discovered a career path that I am interested in pursuing. It was an amazing experience!"

Stephanie Flamen

Stephanie recently graduated from Castilleja School in Palo Alto, and has had the amazing opportunity to work in Dr. Helms' lab for the past two years. She will be starting as a freshman at Stanford this upcoming fall and looks forward to pursuing her interests in stem cell research.

Pooja Kathail

Pooja is a senior at Menlo School, Atherton, CA and has interned at Dr. Helms lab since 2011. Her most recent summer research consisted of studying wound contraction and hair follicle regeneration.

Julia Chang

A 2013 summer intern from Gunn High School, Julia has accomplished successful development on her studies of hair follicle and cleft palate investigation.

Andrew Moreno

Senior student at the California Academy of Mathematics and Science in Carson, CA. Spent his 2013 summer days studying the facts of primary cilia regulation of tooth morphogenesis.

Tanay Nandgaonkar

Tanay is on his way to become an undergraduate student at U.C. Berkeley after spending his summer at Dr. Helms lab studying orthodontic tooth movement.

Eleni Papadoyannis

"My life has changed at Dr. Helms' lab. Beyond the biotechnology and lab skills learnt, I now see myself in Science and Medicine."

Ashten Nguyen

Ashten is a senior at Santa Catalina school. She is interested in pursuing a career in either the dental or medical fields. "This internship provided me the research experience I needed in order to discover if 'research' is something that I would like to pursue."

Jackson Snyder

Jackson is studying molecular and cellular biology at Cal Poly. His time at Dr. Helms lab has helped to reaffirm his desire to pursue stem cell research as a career.

Ariana Chen

Ariana will be a junior at Mission San Jose High School and is studying how to increase the efficacy of autologous bone grafts.

Tiffany Lok

"It is inspiring to know that the research being performed has a big purpose that will impact the lives of many people. Knowing this, my experience in the STARS program has been an amazing learning experience." Tiffany currently attends Presentation High in San Jose, CA.

Niki Flamen

Niki Flamen is a senior at Castilleja School in Palo Alto and has spent the summer learning about the periodontal ligament and working on a model to try to explain some of the phenomenons that surround it. She hopes to pursue a career in engineering, and possibly biomedical engineering, in the future.

Hanna Kiani

Hanna is a senior at Menlo Atherton High School and spent the summer researching hair regeneration and liposomal penetration. "The Helms lab gave me the opportunity to be a part of a bigger picture while teaching me the skills that I will use in the future."

Christian Tsoi-A-Sue

"During my time in the lab I have worked on studying a disease called osteonecrosis which has allowed me to do various types of staining and sectioning procedures. This internship has allowed me to explore the hands on part of research which I really enjoy."

Nina Nase

Nina is an incoming senior at Westmoor High School in Daly City. She spent her summer working with her mentor, Benjamin Salmon, on his research as well as creating an e-protocol for the lab. This is her first summer at the Helms lab.

Zahra Surani

Zahra Surani, a senior at Milpitas High School, explored the relationship between Down syndrome and the DYRK1A gene through different mouse models. In addition, she studied the association between WNT signaling pathway and DYRK1A.

Kristina van de Goor

Senior at Menlo School, Atherton, CA on her way to become an undergraduate at UC San Diego (Biotech and Cell Biology). "I was given an amazing opportunity to work in Dr. Helms' lab and I know the experience I have gained here will serve me throughout life. Not only have I acquired a great deal of biotechnology skills but I have learned how to manage projects and collaborate with team members to accomplish goals."

Olivia Jew

Olivia is an undergraduate student at Stanford University and spent her summer at Dr. Helms lab investigating skin graft survival as she prepares to apply for medical school.

Sarah Jacobs

Sarah is currently attending her senior year at Los Altos High School and spent her summer at Dr. Helms lab studying wound contraction as it relates to the Wnt pathway.

Minku Lee

Minku is a junior at Gunn High School in Palo Alto, CA. He is currently interning in Dr. Helms lab and is loving it! He is also a great cello player and dedicates some of his time to it.

Shruti Perati

Shruthi is a senior at Monta Vista High School and has spent her summers since 2012 interning at Dr. Helms' Lab. Her most recent summer research studied the effects of Wnt on the periodontal ligament and cementum of mouse molars.