Michelle He

How I got into science

I’ve always gravitated towards science and learning about the world around me. Growing up, I’d watch episodes of Popular Mechanics for Kids and stay up late reading Eyewitness books. I would also accompany mom when she would go to her lab to stare at the pink medium-filled petri dishes that were stacked up in an incubator or look at cell cultures under a microscope. In fourth grade, I conducted an experiment for my school’s science fair, swabbing various surfaces in my home to determine their correlation to the number of bacteria colonies grown on plates of agar (spoiler: the TV remote is not as clean as you’d think). Presenting my findings to classmates and teachers and winning second place was a moment of immense pride, further fueling my passion for science.
Knowing I wanted to pursue a career specifically in health science, I applied to Boston University to be able to immerse myself in a city with a huge scientific and medical community. Once I felt adequately adjusted to college, I decided to apply and join a neuroscience lab in Houston that studied the neuronal circuitry of metabolic diseases such as diabetes and obesity. There, I dove head first in scientific research, learning about various cellular and behavioral techniques that allowed me to investigate CRH neuron function in stress-related behaviors in the PVN region of the hypothalamus.

Non-science biography:

Born and raised in Houston, Texas, I embrace my Southern pride. Nothing beats a Whataburger meal with a large Dr. Pepper or sizzling beef fajita platter from Lupe Tortilla. Putting my boots and hat on to go to the rodeo to watch mutton bustin’ and a Luke Bryan concert is an annual occurrence that I will never give up. All cows aside, I also love the outdoors. My family would always take trips to nearby state parks to kayak along the river and hike the mountains. We also love going to national parks and are trying to visit as many as we possibly can. Alongside loving the outdoors, I am one of the biggest foodies you’ll probably ever meet, only limited by the money in my bank account. I enjoy discovering new restaurants and dishes that I will hyperfixate on for the following few weeks so please send over any recommendations!
In my free time, you can catch me soaking up the sun either running on the esplanade or reading a good book on a park bench. If the outside weather isn’t too appealing, I’ll be inside cooking up a big pot of dill chicken noodle soup or caldo de res to help fight away the blues. If I’m in a “bed-rot” type of mood, you can catch me curled up in bed playing Wizards101, watching K-dramas, or reading a book on my Kindle.



When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi


My Cousin Vinny


Law and Order: Criminal Intent


EDM, Country, Reggaeton


Pho or Cold Niku Udon


Ice cold Dr. Pepper


Reading, Running, Hiking, Cooking

Coffee, friend or foe:

Friend to my tastebuds, but foe to my stomach

One thing I’m sorry I’m not sorry about

I dip my pizza in ranch.

What I look for in a scientist

Someone who is not only passionate and driven about their work, but willing to teach and guide others who want to learn. Also, someone who is just a fun person to be around is a must!