Amy Wu '24

Amy Wu

Hershey, PA
College BA
Wharton BSE
Leaning towards Healthcare Management

What are three words you would use to describe LSM?

Interdisciplinary – Through LSM, I have learned how to integrate both business and science, to view the world through both lenses. I have a deeper understanding of the science behind therapeutic interventions as well as logistical know-how for how to turn ideas into reality, knowledge that I am putting to use as I start a new club: the Brain Exercise Initiative at Penn!

Supportive – Everyone in this program is always so willing to help! Professor Rea and Professor Burns were so accessible and flexible by email and office hour through the LSMP121 course and beyond. I have learned so much from Professor Rea and Professor Burns about the life sciences industry, how to think critically, and how to write well. Dr. Stokes always has drop-in office hours for scheduling help and is very accessible by email for a great number of concerns; I initially felt very overwhelmed over how to plan a dual degree course load but Dr. Stokes guided me through the process and was a tremendous help. Ms. Scott has always planned a lot of socials and dedicated so much time to making hundreds of snack bags for us to help relieve the stress of finals season which is much appreciated! The alumni have also always been incredibly supportive in providing mentorship and guidance!

Humanitarian – In LSM we are encouraged to find ways to tackle real life problems. From our first semester in the program, we are taught to think critically, ask questions, and learn all facets of the life sciences industry. LSMP121 culminated with a market scan in which we were to analyze the real time and real world market for a pathological condition. I am also incredibly excited for LSMP421, our Capstone project in which we formulate a plan to take a new scientific innovation to market!


Why did you choose LSM?

I seek to learn how to bring science from the bench to the bedside, to learn how to take scientific discoveries and put them in a position to have a real-world positive impact. I aspire to find a cure to a disease, but I’ve come to realize that discovering a new chemical compound or treatment is not enough. Before it can have an impact on patients, a New Molecular Entity or Biologic still needs to be tested, approved, mass produced, distributed, etc. LSM will provide me with both the needed scientific and the needed business backgrounds to accomplish my bench to bedside dream. My scientific background will provide the ideas and cures I dream of discovering or inventing, but only with management skills gained from LSM and its unique focus on the intersection of business and the life sciences will I be able to most effectively work towards making sure that those ideas and cures truly have a positive impact on the world around me.


Are you doing research currently? If so, where and on what, and what do you like about it?

I am currently doing research in the Rhoades lab in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Pennsylvania. My work focuses on investigating alpha synuclein and its uptake in cells and impact on synaptic proteins. I have learned many molecular biology techniques such as cloning, cell culture, and protein purification. I love being a part of this lab because I feel am learning a lot and that I can truly contribute to the work being done. During my time here, I have run expression tests on proteins to optimize conditions for growth, created novel constructs that can be used by not only me but also by others in the lab, and truly felt like I am a link in this glorious chain of scientific knowledge.


What main extracurricular activities do you do at Penn?

I am the President and founder of the Brain Exercise Initiative (BEI) at Penn which is a service club that provides free reading, writing, and math exercises to seniors, especially those with dementia. It has been incredible to see this club grow so quickly! We were founded in September 2021 and in less than a year, our club has about 40 volunteers registered with us and we are working with 5 different partners! I love BEI at Penn because it fuses my passions for science and business to bridge the gap between a good idea and having a tangible, positive impact on this underserved community.

I am Vice President of Marketing for the Penn Neuroscience Society, a role in which I manage a 1200 person listserv, a listserv that I have helped to grow by nearly 300 individuals in the past year, design and execute a Facebook posting schedule, worked on our website, and spearheaded new technological such as adding an email sign-up pop-up form to our website or initiating the use of merge tags to personalize emails. During my freshman year, the pilot program for my volunteer initiative reached around 30 individuals from places as far flung as Brazil and Turkey.

I am also passionate about volunteering and serving underserved communities so I am a volunteer at the Corporal Michael J. Crescenz Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, a volunteer through Conversations to Remember, and a volunteer through BEI at Penn. Through these roles, I can help combat the epidemic of loneliness that has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

I was honored to be one of 32 students selected for the inaugural cohort of the Wharton Leadership Compass through which I had the opportunity to immerse myself in leadership workshops, receive feedback during executive coaching, reflect on my own leadership style through P3, and put it all together in a Peak Experience. Through this process, I have grown tremendously as a leader and as a person.

I am also an Anatomy & Physiology event supervisor for Science Olympiad at the University of Pennsylvania (SOUP) where I write anatomy & physiology exams for students in 75 schools in Pennsylvania and the surrounding states. I participated in Science Olympiad for 7 years in middle and high school and am excited and proud to be able to give back by writing exams to challenge others to think critically and develop a passion for science.


Do you have plans for after graduation (tentative or otherwise)?

Right now, I am planning on pursuing medical school to learn new skills and become better equipped to serve others, particularly underserved communities such as the elderly. Whatever path I end up taking after graduation, I am confident that the skills and knowledge I have gained during my time in LSM will prepare me for my future.