Graduate Programs in the Biomedical Sciences

current students

Lily Cao


Hometown: New York, NY

Undergraduate Institution: Cornell University

Thesis Mentor:  Nicholas E.S. Sibinga, M.D. 

Department: Developmental and Molecular Biologys


  • Gold Humanism Honor Society
  • Medical Scientist Training Program (T32-GM007288)
  • Julius Marmur Award
  • Vascular Biology Travel Award
  • Cellular and Molecular Biology and Genetics Training Grant (T32-GM007491)

    Description of Research

    I worked in the Sibinga lab to study the molecular mechanism by which the atypical cadherin Fat1 controls vascular smooth muscle cell (SMC) growth after vascular injury. We uncovered that Fat1 is able to control mitochondrial activity, and that this novel function is essential for the regulation of SMC growth.


    Fat1, vascular smooth muscle cells, mitochondria, growth control 

    Why Einstein

    I was looking for a school that would allow me to combine my passion for science with my love for medicine. After reading up on Einstein and interviewing with the professors, I really got the sense of a well-funded, collaborative environment that would allow me to explore my research interests. Now looking back, I realize how many opportunities Einstein has given me to grow as both a scientist and a medical student.

    Advice for Prospective Students

    Keep yourself open to new research experiences, including those beyond what you are already familiar with. One of the best things about Einstein is the broad spectrum of research that the professors conduct. Opportunities exist all around you!

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