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Longmeadow Student Researches Biochemistry Behind Cancer, Reproduction

WORCESTER, MA – Young Sun Lee, a Clark University student from Longmeadow, has been researching the biochemistry behind cancer and reproduction with funding from Clark’s Liberal Education and Effective Practice (LEEP) initiative.

Lee worked in the laboratory of Professor Donald Spratt, a protein chemist and structural biologist at Clark. She studied a protein called HERC4, an important enzyme involved in sperm maturation and cancer development. The researchers hope their findings will lead to a better understanding of human reproduction and the molecular causes of cancer.

Lee is a member of the Class of 2019; she majors in biochemistry and molecular biology. She is a 2015 graduate of Longmeadow High School.

Liberal Education and Effective Practice (LEEP) is Clark’s bold effort to advance liberal education, linking a deep and integrated curriculum with opportunities to put knowledge into practice in order to prepare students for remarkable careers and purposeful, accomplished lives.

LEEP projects have helped Clark University students pursue funded and directed problem-based summer projects. The projects—several of which are hosted by Clark alumni—offer real-world application of course material and provide an opportunity to engage with professionals outside of the University.

This spring, 90 undergraduates were awarded LEEP Fellowships to pursue projects ranging from international social action initiatives to internships with leading corporations.

“Students who are selected as LEEP Fellows progress through a competitive and intensive series of preparatory activities designed to help them successfully complete their LEEP Projects. From proposal writing and résumé development, to professional communication and research skills, the LEEP Fellow experience helps prepare students to fully engage in the world and integrate their academic work with their professional interests,” said Michelle Bata, director of the LEEP Center at Clark.

Founded in 1887 in Worcester, MA, Clark University is a liberal arts-based research university addressing social and human imperatives on a global scale.

Nationally renowned as a college that changes lives, Clark is emerging as a transformative force in higher education today. LEEP (Liberal Education and Effective Practice) is Clark’s pioneering model of education that combines a robust liberal arts curriculum with life-changing world and workplace experiences.

Clark’s faculty and students work across boundaries to develop solutions to complex challenges in the natural sciences, psychology, geography, management, urban education, Holocaust and genocide studies, environmental studies, and international development and social change.

The Clark educational experience embodies the University’s motto: Challenge convention. Change our world.