SSM BioScience Student Publishes Research Paper in Professional Journal

December 31, 2020


Ao (Amber) Lu ’21, a member of the BioScience Center of Excellence, has published her paper entitled, “The Silent Majority – Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus and South Asia Phenotype,” in the journal of the Conference of Artificial Intelligence and Healthcare.

This paper is the cumulation of two and a half years of research, after Amber spent the summer break of her freshman year volunteering in Nepal. While she mainly taught biology to middle and high school students, she also spent time helping a community doctor by taking patients’ blood pressure. She observed that central obesity—obesity in the abdominal area—was much more common in Nepal than in the U.S. or China. The doctor she was working with told her that around 70 percent of Nepalese people have diabetes or prediabetes symptoms.

Amber became so interested in this topic that she decided to pursue further research. She found a mentor who had gotten his PhD from the University of Chicago and now works for the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the biggest national research institution in China. He helped Amber to understand the microbiology involved in her research paper.

After reading more than 20 professional papers and holding weekly meetings with her mentor, Amber began writing her own. Now, after half a year of revisions and passing the peer review process, her paper is ready to read. Publishing research is a major achievement for a scientist of any age, but is nearly unheard of for a high school student! You can read the abstract of her paper here.

“To publish an article in a peer-reviewed journal as a high school student is a tremendous accomplishment,” said the Director of the BioScience Program, Dr. Maren LaLiberty. “I am so proud of Amber!”

Amber has had an extremely busy year—you can also read about her role as Vice President of Public Partnership in the student-organization Future Health Professionals here.