How are stem cell research, Shakespeare and Quidditch related? For Cameron Kim, P’14, a double major in biomedical engineering (BME) and mathematics, with a certificate in genome sciences and policy, these seemingly divergent interests have come together in a symbiotic collegiate career.
Kim became interested in BME after writing a paper on stem cell research for a high school English class. “I was so compelled to have more questions answered about research in that field and genetic engineering in general. I saw the science and I saw the controversy, and I wanted to take it on head first.”
Kim has tackled that challenge through his stint as a Howard Hughes Research Fellow working on molecular engineering for regenerative medicine, as well as through his work towards his certificate in genomic science and policy. He spent the summer of 2012 studying Shakespeare and playing Quidditch at Oxford in England, where he analyzed the Bard’s plays for underlying motifs and symbols much as he had searched for clues in his scientific studies. “I've had to use that for science papers to analyze arguments and support their validity,” he says.
As for Quidditch – the game made popular in the Harry Potter novels -- Kim puts his analytical skills to use as the head referee. “Everybody wants for me, the engineer, to work on flying brooms,” he says. “Quidditch is my release from my activities, a time for me to be with my friends, even though as the referee I'm usually yelling at them!”