The Magic of Telomere Biology by Gita Ganti ’21

This past summer I had interned for a biotech company in Madrid that studies life expectancy using telomere analysis technology. I had worked in the company’s commercial sector, and helped them target companies from across the world that can serve as potential clients. This opportunity has inspired me to delve deeper into the world of telomeres, and understand just how they have revolutionized our public health system. For my Engaged Project, I completed a research project on how telomere biology has impacted our public health systems since the early twentieth century. I presented my research through two parts: a research paper and a mock-up of a graphic novel. Hopefully, I will be able to work more on this graphic novel in the future. I hope that my Engaged Project will underline the importance of bridging science and creativity. I believe that my work in my SISP and Psychology courses prepared me to take on this Engaged Project, and I hope that this project will only mark the beginning of my research in how telomere biology has impacted our health systems, as I plan to pursue this topic further in graduate studies.

Sponsor: Menelaos Tsapekos, Commercial Director at Life Length

Student reflection:

I have learned that making comics is super fun, and that I should dedicate more time to this craft. I find that bridging scientific concepts with artistic expression is so important and I hope that other people will understand this message as well.

Instructor feedback:

Not only did you make what I am confident will blossom into one of the coolest science books I’ve ever seen (really!), but you also showed that you are able to share your work publicly even when you feel insecure and that you are able to be genuinely open to feedback. I believe that this kind of fearlessness and openness is critical — and that it is uncommon. Going forward, I hope you will remember your own words — “bridging scientific concepts with artistic expression is so important” — and continue to create engaged work that does just that.