Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis

Biology Graduate Explored the World Through Science and Research

Jennifer Romine | 2013 Alumna, B.S. Biology
MD Student, IU School of Medicine

Jennifer Romine looks back on her time in the School of Science as one of great transition, an eye-opening experience she never expected.

Jennifer RomineThis fall, Romine will begin living out her dream of attending medical school when she enters the IU School of Medicine. But, it is the impact of the research experiences and international opportunities that continue to guide her education and career.

“Originally I came to IUPUI and didn’t really want to do research. What’s ironic now is I’m completely embedded in it,” said Romine, who graduated with a degree in biology and a minor in medical humanities and health studies. 

Her research, which twice took her to China to present her findings and interact with international neuroscience professionals, involved the study of the maturation process of neurons and the ability to stimulate neuron growth by increasing the number of neural stem cells in the brain.

In 2012, she presented her project, “Revitalizing Neural Stem Cells in the Aging Brain,” at the International Neural Regeneration Symposium. Her mentor, Jinhui Chen, Ph.D., assistant professor at the IU School of Medicine, and several other IU researchers gave presentations at the symposium.

“This was an amazing opportunity I was given,” Romine said. “To have the ability to do this type of research as an undergraduate is incredible.”

The research, conducted at the Stark Neuroscience Research Center on the IUPUI campus, revealed certain drugs can stimulate neuron activity, which can be useful in treating patients with traumatic brain injuries or those who lose cognitive function through the aging process.

“IUPUI allowed me take advantage of all the opportunities to meet my RISE goals,” Romine said, referring to IUPUI’s mission to provide Research, International study, Service and Experiential learning for all undergraduates.

“Undoubtedly, the experiences I’ve had have molded me into a better leader and equipped me with skills to be the best physician possible. I feel empowered to make an impact on the world around me,” she added. 

Before she begins to make her mark, however, she plan to take much-needed break. The Roncalli High School graduate will spend her summer backpacking throughout Europe and exploring the United States. She will pursue her medical degree to prepare for a career as a neurologist.

Romine is a Fugate Scholar, an Outstanding Woman Leader at IUPUI, a recipient of the William M. Plater Civic Medallion and an IUPUI Top 100 student. She also served as the president of Timmy Global Health, ambassador for the Center for Research and Learning, pre-professional coordinator for the IUPUI Biology Club, member of the Student Development Funding Committee and IUPUI Honors College peer mentor.