Stopping Cancer Early – The Best Possible Investment


Canary Center Summer Interns: Part Two

August 11, 2014

By: Shannon Boselli, Canary Foundation Intern

In the conclusion of our two-part series highlighting the Canary Center interns, we take a look at Sonia and Sophie. These two high school students are working on incredible projects in the labs and are considering their plans for the future.


Sonia Sachar

Sonia Sachar

Sonia Sachar- High School student, Mallick Lab

Sonia Sachar is a 16-year-old high school student at Irvington High School, as well as an intern in Dr. Mallick’s lab. They are working on a software program to model the dynamism of signaling networks and protein interaction networks in cancer. Sonia loves working with her outstanding lab coworkers to strive for a common goal of developing techniques for early detection of cancer.

She says, “Being an intern at the Canary Lab, building my software application, interacting with other youths, and learning about the amazing work of pertinent leaders in the field of science and industry, has inspired me to creatively think outside the box, attempt the impossible, and most importantly, follow my passions.” After college Sonia hopes to come up with unique technologies to solve complicated human problems. In her free time Sonia likes to sing with her per cockatiel and create mobile apps to personalize learning.

Another hobby of hers is to advocate for more women in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) focused careers by teaching computer science and technology to girls in her high school.


Sophie Schick

Sophie Schick

Sophie Schick- High school student, Gambhir lab

Sophie Schick is a 17-year-old high school student at the College Preparatory School in Lafayette. Here at the Canary Center Sophie is working in the Gambhir lab, screening drugs in hopes of finding successful treatments to glioblastoma, one of the most lethal forms of brain cancer. Although she isn’t sure of what her plans are after high school, she knows her time spent at the Canary Center has definitely piqued her interest in cancer research, though she notes that dirty mouse cages have yet to excite her! She became interested in early cancer detection through her work volunteering at her local hospital. There she sees the clinical side of treating cancer of the often-devastating prognosis patients often receive from their doctors.

She hopes that her work at the Canary Center and in the future will work to catch cancer early, when it is most treatable. Sophie has learned the value of clear communication through her time spent at the Canary Center—she has both practiced and honed her communication skills; written and orally, and knows this skill will greatly distinguish her in the field of science. She says that learning this skill has made it easy for her to create strong bonds with her fellow interns and the post docs in the lab, and that has allowed her to be more successful in the lab. The hardest part for her is the thought that she must leave soon and go back to school!