Student accepted into MIT summer program

Tadesse to present at Student Academic Conference

By Danielle Rebel

Greatness is often born from wild, far-fetched ideas.

For Loza Tadesse, this was exactly the case.

The international student from Ethiopia is studying physics and biology at MSUM. Earlier this year, she was hired in the biosciences department – not as a researcher, but to clean the fish tank.

“That’s when I first got interested in the fish,” Tadesse said. “I’m really interested in cardiology-related research.”

Being around the zebra fish in the biosciences department each day sparked an idea in Tadesse. After doing some research, she further developed the idea, which she will be presenting at the Student Academic Conference April 15.

“I’m modifying an ECG (electrocardiogram) that is already here,” Tadesse said. “Zebra fish are now top in medical research because they resemble the various human body systems, including the heart. I am trying to make the heart ECG recoding procedure less invasive.”

Tadesse, who has been working with professors Ananda Shastri and Brian Wisenden, has had great success thus far, and hopes to find continued success as she moves forward in her research.

“It’s a new topic, and if we’re successful it can help many other researchers,” Tadesse said. “It might be a starting point for me, as well.”

After graduation, Tadesse hopes to become a full-time researcher. She says her success with the zebra fish project would lay the base for her future and be an instrumental help in the medical world.

Without the help of resources around her, Tadesse says her research would not have come this far.

“I’m just so blessed with the professors, their cooperation, and the resources we have here at MSUM,” Tadesse said. “My goal (in presenting at the Student Academic Conference) is to describe what we have and to motivate other students to follow their other research ideas as well.”

Tadesse’s research won’t end after presenting at the Student Academic Conference. She was recently accepted into MIT for a summer internship.

“It was a really competitive opportunity, but finally, thank God, I got in,” she said.

Though the zebra fish project is her first large-scale research, Tadesse got word of her acceptance into the MIT summer program only 10 days after the application deadline. The acceptance rate into the program is less than 10 percent.

Many world-renowned scientists live and breathe in MIT labs. One such scientist is Dr. Robert Langer, who has been repeatedly named a top worldwide innovator in publications like “Forbes” and “Time Magazine.”

“Having a chance to work in the labs of such well-known people is such an amazing opportunity,” Tadesse said.

For those who are hesitant to apply for prestigious internships and research opportunities, Tadesse has one piece of advice.

“Never hesitate to shoot for a bigger star,” she said. “Unless you do it you’ll never know what is to come. Give it your all and it will pay off.”

For more information on the Student Academic Conference, visit