Nov. 11 University of Chicago graduate student Kelliann Koehler spoke to members of the Pine View School Student Society for Stem Cell Research (PV SSSCR) about her research and first-hand experiences.
Koehler began her studies at the University of Florida before transferring to Northeastern University where she graduated with her Bachelor of Science in Chemistry. She then began her graduate studies at the University of Chicago with a focus in Inorganic Chemistry in 2014.
Koehler’s presentation focused largely on her work in cardiac cells and potential applications in the treatment of congenital heart diseases. She also answered student questions about pursuing chemistry and biology at a collegiate level as well as her career field.
This is the second time that Koehler has visited Pine View, and she has worked closely with the club in the past according to club president and twelfth-grader Jeevesh Konuru. “She’s been extraordinarily helpful both as a speaker and as a mentor for the club,” he said. Konuru initially met Koehler through a friend who used to attend Pine View.
Members of PV SSSCR enjoy the way Koehler combines technicalities in her field with personal experiences. Eleventh-grader and attendee Josh Wolff said, “This was the second year I attended a speech by Kelliann Koehler at PV SSSCR. Kelliann is an engaging speaker, able to effectively explain her research on stem cells in heart scaffolding incorporated with silicon and its impacts on society. Afterwards, I had the pleasure of speaking with Ms. Koehler on her candidacy and other topics, which was also great.”
This is not the only speaker that the PV SSSCR has brought to Pine View. Last year, they brought in several speakers, including Sarasota neurosurgeon Dr. James Scumacher as well as Greg Raclaw, a leukemia patient who underwent stem cell therapy. Bringing in speakers, according to Konuru, is part of the outreach part of their club, in which they hope to increase understanding of molecular biology and advancements in science and technology.
After attending the presentation, Wolff said, “Overall, the event was helpful and interesting and I plan on attending future PV SSSCR meetings.”