Student Profiles

Emily Zhen, LSM '18

Hometown: 
Naperville, IL
College Major: 
Biology
Wharton Concentrations: 
Finance and Management

What makes the LSM community unique?

The LSM community is one of the most collaborative and supportive academic communities that I am a part of on campus. In each of my biology classes, studying with LSM friends has been extremely valuable to make sure I fully grasp the material. People are always happy to help, and LSM alumni are eager to talk to current students about their career paths and to answer any questions.

What research have you done at Penn or otherwise?

I am currently doing my independent study research project on Castleman disease. Working with my PI, Dr. David Fajgenbaum, I am testing the hypothesis that aberrant activation of a particular signaling pathway is driving T cell hyperactivation that occurs in Castleman disease patients. This will help better understand what signaling pathways underlie the immune hyperactivation, proliferation and cytokine expression in the disease, and provide a new drug target for its treatment.

What are your favorite experiences at Penn so far?

One of my favorite experiences at Penn so far has been going on the Wharton International Program to Buenos Aires, Argentina during the spring break of my sophomore year. In Argentina, we got to visit businesses of all different industries in Argentina and see how business is conducted in the country. Learning how to tango dance with professional dancers, eating Argentine steak, and going horseback riding with gaucho cowboys were also very memorable experiences!

Plans after LSM:

After college, I plan to work in the healthcare industry on the business side. Though I’m not exactly sure what that looks like at the moment, I’m interested in improving health care outcomes and the efficiency of how the healthcare system runs. I’m really interested in social impact, and would love to get involved in healthcare development and health policy in the long-term.

Other interesting things about you?

I started my own club at Penn dedicated to healthcare volunteering, StudentsCare at Penn. We currently partner with the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and St Christopher’s Hospital for our hospital buddy volunteer program, do monthly activities at the Ronald McDonald House, and do free hypertension screenings at the American Red Cross and the University Lutheran Church soup kitchen.