Sabrina Hirshorn

AMP Student

Anticipated Graduation Date:    Spring 2023

Other Education:    Bachelors Degree (Graduating Spring 2022)

LinkedIn account:

Research Advisor and Department:    Yana Zavros, Cellular and Molecular Medicine

Research area:    Organoids are a 3-dimensional cell culture models that recapitulate the tissue from which the cells are derived. These models are an emerging approach used to study the pathogenesis of many human diseases including cancer. My research project pertains to the development of an induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived organoid model to reveal mechanisms for the role of gene mutations in the development of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). Specifically, my project is focused on the KRAS mutation. My approach is to generate: 1) iPSCs expressing gene mutations using sgRNA GFP-tagged CRISPR-Cas9 knockout genome editing, and 2) iPSC lines from PDAC patients harboring these mutations. I will then generate organoids by directed differentiation using these iPSC lines.

What are your hobbies?    Outside of the lab, I love to sing and play guitar and violin. I also enjoy attending live theater and music performances, and spending time with my friends and family.

What outreach or service activities are you involved in?
   Alpha Epsilon Delta
   Student Health Advocacy Committee - Outreach Committee
   Partnerships Through Honors (PATH)
   Global Medical Brigades

What honors or awards have you received?
   Phi Beta Kappa member
   Dean's List with Distinction (Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, and Spring 2021)

Favorite quote or guiding principle:    "If opportunity doesn't knock, build a door" - Milton Berle

Why did you choose to enter the MCB AMP Program?    There have been many people in my life who have had genetic mutations and disorders, including myself. As I continued to be exposed to the world of healthcare, I realized that I wanted to make an impact on the world by helping those who have been affected by genetic diseases and disorders. I chose to enter the MCB AMP program in order to further develop my knowledge and experimental technique in order to continue to pursue research in the future and ultimately achieve that goal. In the future, I also plan to pursue a medical degree in order to combine clinical treatment with research.



Hirshorn, S. T., N. Steele, and Y. Zavros, "Modeling pancreatic pathophysiology using genome editing of adult stem cell-derived and induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived organoids.", Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol, vol. 320, issue 6, pp. G1142-G1150, 2021 Jun 01. PMID: 33759566


Teal, E., M. Dua-Awereh, S. T. Hirshorn, and Y. Zavros, "Role of metaplasia during gastric regeneration.", Am J Physiol Cell Physiol, vol. 319, issue 6, pp. C947-C954, 2020 12 01. PMCID: PMC7792674 PMID: 32755448