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Rising sophomore shows heart for helping people through stem cell research

Marlene Redlich works on differentiating cells with the goal of making them into pacemaker cells that could one day be planted into a damaged heart.

Marlene Redlich works on differentiating cells and making them into pacemaker cells that could one day be planted into a damaged heart.

This summer, Marlene Redlich ’22 returned to her home country of Germany. However, rather than putting her feet up and relaxing, she assisted in high level stem cell work at an international cardiac research center.

Redlich was an intern for the University of Rostock Medical Center’s Cardiac Surgery Research Department, where she shadowed researchers, studies medical literature, and made presentations on the newest publications in the field. She was also given her own stem cell project to complete.

“I’m interested in medicine, but I can’t see myself as a physician, so I was looking in other directions where I could use my biology knowledge and my passion for medicine,” Redlich said. “And this is what I found. It’s a perfect match between medicine and biology research in the medical area. Plus, the researchers in Rostock are working on unbelievably interesting and futuristic projects, such as trying to print heart tissue with a 3D printer!”

In addition to this latest opportunity, Redlich has also studied the genetic makeup of plant life and previously completed an internship in molecular plant physiology at the Max-Planck Institute.

“I’ve learned so many new things—not just about the cardiac stem cell therapy field, but also about the life of a researcher,” Redlich said. “After getting my degree at Randolph, I want to move back to Europe and continue on to get my master’s in biological sciences. This internship experience really showed me where my interests are and I know much better in which research field I’m trying to go.”

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