Impossible – it’s just an opinion.

Maggie Peng became a Harvard University Freshmen!!!

For a moment, let’s dive into the life of a senior year high school student. Beyond working, interning, volunteering, and studying, and searching for colleges, they are facing the challenge of balancing their responsibilities as hardworking students while putting in their best effort as members of the research lab. During 2020-21, the perseverance had to be doubled considering the fact of the ongoing epidemic.

This was the year when Maggie Peng joined the IPG Lab as a High School!!! researcher. Maggie, among many of the IPG Lab students, showed resilience and managed to beat all obstacles and eventually shine standing at the top of the mountain.

How did she manage that? Let’s ask her.

As a high school student who wanted to explore science research at the university level, I joined the IPG Lab in June of 2020 and was warmly welcomed by Dr. Bates, Dr. Tomasson, and the lab. Living in New York, halfway across the country, I performed research and joined meetings virtually. Even with these limits (and during the pandemic), the lab and its members always provided a sense of community. The people I’ve met come from a wide range of backgrounds, and the environment of collaboration, diligence, and camaraderie fueled my passion for research.

I worked primarily on two projects. For the first one, I was mentored by Dr. Bates and Mackenzie Berschel, an honors undergrad at UIowa. We used RNA sequencing to examine the bone marrow microenvironment of multiple myeloma. Then, as part of the UIowa Secondary Student Training Program (SSTP), a high school summer research program, I completed a project of my own on a cardiorespiratory reflex in COPD patients under Dr. Bates’ continued mentorship.

I’m incredibly grateful to have had the opportunity to be a part of the IPG Lab and plan on studying biomedical engineering to continue my biological inquiries in college!

Maggie Peng


“I hadn’t been aware that there were doors closed to me until I started knocking on them.” — quoting the Nobel prize winner in Physiology and Medicine, Gertrude B. Elion, who was also born in New York (coincidence?).

Maggie, we’re wishing you to open as many doors as possible during your life journey!

You are on the way to impress the world!!!