Undergraduate Research Program

Sarah Kee

Sarah Smiling in front of a gardenMajor: Molecular, Cellular, Developmental Biology
Mentor: Ellen Schur, UW Medicine

Contact: sk7716@uw.edu

Current research project: Hypothalamic Gliosis and Change in Body Adiposity in Children with Obesity


Sarah is a senior, graduating in Spring 2021 with a degree in Molecular, Cellular, Developmental Biology and a minor in Chemistry at the University of Washington. She is currently working in the Schur Lab to uncover different connections to further the understanding of hypothalamic gliosis and its correlation with human adiposity and obesity. Sarah aspires to continue in clinical research where its impact can reach the community and the global levels.


Translate your work so that we can all understand its importance
Hypothalamic gliosis is an inflammatory response that occurs on the hypothalamus, a structure in the brain. Recent research has shown that this is a key component for diet-induced obesity in rodents. With more research into connections between gliosis and body adiposity, we are emphasizing the neurobiological basis of obesity. These potential insights can inform targeted diet-
related treatments and further our understanding of obesity pathogenesis.


When, how, and why did you get involved in undergraduate research?
In my second year of college, I got involved with my current research lab and project through the research portal. I chose to find research that explored more than what I learned in classrooms. My mind is always moving forward and that’s the same rush and adrenaline that working in research has as well. I love being engaged in upcoming projects and asking questions of my own to formulate my project as well.


What advice would you give a student who is considering getting involved in undergraduate research?
Choose research that genuinely interests you, even if it’s not within your chosen field of study! You will find that many topics are interdisciplinary and lead you to more connections in your work.