Your browser does not support JavaScript!
SIT-Summer Institute in Taiwan
Academic Exchange & Cultural Experience in Taiwan
Remarks by Dr. Grace Chao (趙本秀) for Todd Duncombe

When Todd contacted me last year, my first impression was that Todd is highly accomplished and very ambitious.  Now that he has spent two months in the lab, I can only say that he is every bit as accomplished and ambitious as my first impression, and a great joy to work with. Todd started in the lab one day before I had to go abroad for international conference and collaborations. As no one in the lab currently is familiar with the project and the resources involved, I was worried that few progress would be made in my absence. When I came back three weeks later, Todd had established systems for manufacturing gradient substrates using rapid prototyping devices and molds. Even though he had minimal experience with sterile techniques, Todd was able to maintain and passage cells successfully. He also documented the cell culture protocols and made detailed records of the system for future students. While the project we original proposed to EAPSI is more likely a three-year research grant, Todd has laid a great foundation during his short stay in terms of technical platform for us to continue studying the effects of stiffness gradient on stem cell behavior and differentiation. This project has significant impact on regenerative medicine. With Todd’s help and this new system, we are now hoping to generate a publication in the coming months. In addition to the proposed research, Todd actively participated in lab meetings and gave a very fascinating talk regarding his own research experiences and advices for graduate school application in the United States. Todd also made friends in the lab, traveling around Taipei with them. During one lab outing, we hung out until the wee hour of the night!  I think he provided a very good representation of American culture and graduate life. We really appreciated Todd’s expertise and enjoyed his company during the past two months. Hopefully he has gained some new experiences scientifically and otherwise, as we definitely had. We are also grateful for the generous funding by the NSF/MOST EAPSI program to allow us this opportunity and look forward to future collaborations with Todd and other fellows.

Voice Play