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Vu Receives Excellence in Honors Thesis Presentation Award

Jun 28 2021

Posted In:

20/20 Blog

Palo Alto, CA ­— Jennifer Vu, a recent Stanford graduate and researcher in the Mahajan Lab, earned the 2021 Oral Communication Program Excellence in Honors Thesis Presentation Award. 

This prize recognizes students who not only take on original research, but also display exceptional talent in oral, written, and visual presentation. As one of two Human Biology students granted this University award, Jen was honored for her thesis titled, “Investigating Vitreous Proteomic Biomarkers to Characterize Observed Sex Differences in the Prevalence of Macular Holes.” 

Jen’s research developed from her interests in health disparities, women’s health, biostatistics, and complex biological pathways. She used proteomics to investigate why macular holes are more prevalent in females than males. Her findings and conclusions serve a dual-purpose of improving diagnostic tools for macular holes and encouraging people, especially women, to proactively get eye exams and get treated for macular holes in their early stages of disease.

Vinit Mahajan M.D., Ph.D., associate professor and vice chair of ophthalmology research at Stanford, said, “I am thrilled Jen was recognized for her strong research and outstanding communication skills. She did some very sophisticated analysis of complex proteomics datasets during the pandemic, but what really makes her stand out is her ability to communicate her results in a way that everybody can understand. It has been a privilege having her in my lab, and I look forward to working with her in the future.”

Next year, Jen will continue as a full-time researcher in the lab while applying to medical school. 

Jen said, “I’m grateful for the incredible support from Dr. Mahajan, other scientists in the lab, Stanford’s Human Biology Department, and my family to pursue patient-centered ophthalmic research.” 

The thesis presentation was recorded and can be watched here.