Joyce Ho is a Human Biology major with an area of concentration in Genetics and Cancer. She investigated the link between genetics and disease at Dr. Theo Palmer’s lab in the Department of Neurosurgery starting her sophomore year. Supported by UAR and Bio-X grants, she examined the structural and behavioral effects of inflammation on mice containing a mutated form of the ataxia-telangiectasia mutated (ATM) protein, as well as the potential use of anti-inflammatory drugs such as pioglitazone on attenuating these harmful effects. The project culminated in an honors thesis her senior year.
The Human Biology core also introduced Joyce to global health, which she explored at Stanford through classes and by going abroad. She volunteered one summer in Ghana with Unite for Sight in local eye clinics and villages. Another summer she traveled to India to teach a leadership curriculum she and other students developed to the nation’s first class of government-sponsored paramedics. Inspired by her experiences, she founded Stanford Service in Global Health Journal to provide a space for students and faculty to share their own stories doing health-related service work abroad. The journal also serves as a resource for other students who wish to become involved with international medical work.
Joyce currently volunteers at Arbor Free Clinic, where she serves as the Follow Up and Referrals Coordinator on the Steering Committee. In the past she has worked for FACEAIDS and SIRUM, helped plan Alumni Reunion Homecoming and Admit Weekend, done anthropology research on feetbinding in China, and researched Wnt3a in oval cell proliferation at Dr. Karl Sylvester’s stem cell lab. In her free time she likes to play classical piano, find all sorts of delicious new foods to eat, and explore the great city that is San Francisco. Joyce is very excited to attend Stanford University School of Medicine in the fall.
Q: How has the HumBio major shaped you and how has the major allowed you to pursue your goals?
I came to Stanford wanting to go into medicine, but soon into freshman year, I became discouraged by all the difficult requirements I had to fulfill to go down this path. The Human Biology program reaffirmed my desire to become a physician though, by introducing me to many great opportunities and classes that made me excited about healthcare. The Humbio core will always be one of my best academic experiences at Stanford because of its wide breadth of topics that represented facets of medicine I had never learned about before. My newfound interests in community and international health then led me to carve my own path as a premedical student, both on and off campus. The flexibility of the major also allowed me to explore the basic sciences while taking classes about psychology, health systems in developing countries, and gross anatomy. Lastly, the Humbio faculty and staff showed superb guidance during the development of Stanford Service in Global Health Journal from a mere idea into the publication it is today. Overall, the Human Biology program refocused my professional goals while supporting my extracurricular interests, and I know that the experiences and knowledge I have gained through this major will contribute greatly to my future medical career.