Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy

To ignite and nurture creative, ethical, scientific minds that advance the human condition.

Blood Journal Features IMSA Class of 2011 Alumna Research

By Michael Abrahamson, IMSA Marketing

IMSA Class of 2011 Graduate Mahi Singh recently had her Student Inquiry and Research (SIR) work published in Blood, a publication of the American Society of Hematology.

“When I became a junior at IMSA, I was very excited about SIR,” Mahi said. “I knew it was a big opportunity that I could potentially really benefit from. Based on what I had learned (and wanted to know more about) in my biology classes at IMSA, I already knew what I was interested in researching," she said.  "I wanted to know, ‘since all cells have the same DNA, what makes one cell different from another?’ So, I looked for labs that worked on answering this question.”

Mahi’s work focused on DNA methylation, an important topic in the study of cancer and how it spreads.

“DNA methylation is one differentiating factor between the cells of an organism, and this is something that the Godley Lab at the University of Chicago was studying," Mahi said.  "Dr. Godley graciously invited me to work in her lab, and that's where it all began! I worked in the lab both my junior and senior years at IMSA, as well as everyday during the summer in between. It was very rewarding to me because I felt like I was finally doing real science!”

“Looking back, SIR was probably the single most influential part of my IMSA career,” Mahi added. She said that current IMSA students should "find something you are curious about and pursue it! When you are genuinely interested in something, it shows.”

Mahi is now a sophomore at Case Western Reserve University studying Nutrition and Biology. In her free time she is a biology tutor, a volunteer for the Emergency Medical Service, and is a member of the Phi Mu Fraternity.