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Yumie Lee


Why UC Merced?

I chose UC Merced for its ongoing support for first generation college students. As a first generation student, it was important for me to find a university that supports their students. I quickly found that there are an abundance of resources and programs for first generation students in all disciplines to further their education and find opportunities, such as undergraduate research.

Why Your Major?

My interest in bioengineering began in highschool where I participated in a lot of engineering courses. I enjoyed learning how engineering concepts can be applied in biological processes, and became confident that I wanted to pursue a career as a bioengineer. As a bioengineering major, I can understand biological processes from the point of view of an engineer, and apply engineering concepts to answer the many challenges this field faces. Being an engineer provides an outlet for me to bridge biology and engineering to push the boundaries of science and medicine.

Inspiration and Mentors

To my family and friends, thank you for your support throughout my undergraduate career. To my research advisor, Dr. Andrea Merg, thank you for giving me the opportunity to start my career in research early, and to Anthony Perez, for being the best graduate mentor I could ever ask for. I want to give my gratitude to everyone in the Shipman Lab at UCSF. Thank you for welcoming me into the lab. To the UROC team and UC LEADs, thank you for giving me multiple opportunities to conduct research as an undergraduate student. Without your support and belief in me, I would not be where I am today. Thank you all!

Memorable Academic Experience

My most memorable experience has been the many research opportunities that I have experienced. As a UC LEADs scholar, I had the unique opportunity to conduct research at UC Merced as well as UCSF. During my time as a UC LEADs scholar, I’ve presented at multiple symposiums, I became a co-author for the Merg Lab, and won first place at the 2024 Emerging Researchers National Conference. I am grateful for all the opportunities I took during my time at UC Merced.

What's Next?

I am excited to continue my education at the University of California, San Diego. I will begin my new chapter as a bioengineering PhD student starting Fall 2024!

Anything else?

To all current and future undergraduate students, please take full advantage of the resources provided by UC Merced. I am where I am today because I received support from my instructors, mentors, and the entire UROC team. They helped shape me into the student and researcher that I am today. Seize the opportunity; email professors about undergraduate research, and don’t be afraid to make mistakes and learn.

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