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While opportunity cost is what we must give up in order to attain what we desire, I’m sure that there is no opportunity cost of attending Penn. From research, volunteering, and publications to distinct majors, the opportunity cost of Penn is nothing compared to that of any other university. The University of Pennsylvania’s research in bioinformatics is the forerunner of treatments of diseases like Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and even Sickle Cell Anemia. We’ve all heard of Captain America and the super-soldier serum that made him invincible. At Penn, that science fiction may become a reality. Most recently, Penn scientists transformed neurons into astrocytes in order to protect human brains from concussions. Rather than utilizing pluripotent stem cells, Penn scientists transformed one cell directly into another. Their innovative ideas have provided alternative approaches to the ethical challenges involved in stem cell research. In fact, Penn scientists even regrew cartilage and restored eyesight in humans, rebutting what was deemed impossible in the last decade. One particular professor, Michael Lampson, focuses on cell division and segregation errors that are associated with human cancer, developmental diseases and infertility.
At Penn, I would be able to study under Lampson to develop an understanding of the causes of cancer. Also, Penn offers the Biophysics major—which only a handful of colleges feature. Because of Biophysicists, thousands of physicians can access the MRI, the ECG, kidney dialysis and artificial pacemakers. Biophysicists even modeled DNA—the molecule responsible for our very existence. It’s this kind of research that I’d like to pursue at Penn. I wish to participate in the Biomedical Engineering Society, an organization which seeks to expose biomedical techniques and other aspects of biomedical engineering outside of the classroom. As a Biophysicist, I would delve into the nano-medicine used to diagnose and treat cancer. Even off campus, the Penn Neuroscience Society raises awareness of Alzheimer’s Disease and Parkinson’s Diseases in the greater Philadelphia community. Given my interest in neurodegenerative disorders, I would run informational seminars or present lectures to the public about the latest updates on the diseases. Additionally, I would organize ethical and medical decision-making programs for individuals with Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s in Philadelphia.
Outside of studying Biology, I would contribute to publications at the University of Pennsylvania, such as Penn Science: The Journal of Undergraduate Research. Although the journal mostly focuses on nanotechnology and the research of professors, students can also submit undergraduate research papers. Maybe the mislabeling of sushi or the misplacement of genetically modified organisms is prevalent in Philadelphia. There’s always some way for Molecular Biology to muckrake fraud. Finally, to further my involvement in international affairs, I’d like to contribute to the Penn Society for International Development, especially by teaching a development curriculum at Bodine High School. With all the time I’ve spent at Model UN and the Refugee Center, I’ve gained a true understanding of global poverty and conflicts. At Penn, I would lead discussions about the Implications of US Involvement in Global Affairs and Warfare between natives of Central Africa.
From world-renowned professors and their revolutionary research on biotechnology and bioinformatics to student journals and international goals, I would give up nothing to attend Penn. Instead, I would gain everything by attending a school with unlimited opportunities.
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