Lilian Zhang

Lilian Zhang

I had never learned about the numerous facets and fields research could encompass until engaging with CURF.

During the summer before my senior year in high school, I worked at a wet lab studying neural regeneration but found it didn't really fit with my abilities at the time. Therefore, after my arrival at Penn, I decided to take part in more humanities-geared research. Working at the Dahan Lab has been a fantastic experience because it allowed me to study the two things I found most fascinating, Psychology and Linguistics. Being a BBB and Hispanic Studies double major, I’ve always been curious about language acquisition, communication efficiency, and the constituents of making someone an “eloquent communicator.” The Dahan Lab investigates questions such as “what demographic or personality factors influence the efficiency at establishing common ground.”  Research in the Dahan lab not only satiated my curiosity towards the two disciplines in which  I’ve chosen to major, but also allowed me to conduct empirical research: from designing a study, to recruiting participants, to ultimately analyzing data and producing tangible results.

However, over time and through my coursework at Penn, I grew more fascinated with neuroscience research and acquired adequate skill sets to work at a more technical lab, which encouraged me to once again try work at a wet lab, this time with a much richer repertoire of knowledge and abilities. As a result, I became a research assistant at the Davidson Lab at CHOP, where I currently work with mice models on developing more effective and specific AAV viral capsids through capsid modification, intravenous injections, and quantification of viral biodistribution.

If you have questions regarding finding research opportunities that span multiple disciplines, or general questions about getting started with research at Penn, please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions!

  • Dr. Beverly Davidson Lab, CHOP (Fall 2019-Present)
  • Penn Undergraduate Research and Mentorship Program (PURM) (Summer 2019)
  • Dr. Delphine Dahan Lab, Psychology Department, University of Pennsylvania (Spring 2019- October 2019)
  • Dr. Yuanquan Song, Pathology Department, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (Summer 2017)