Hi, I’m Saara! I was born and raised in Chelmsford, Massachusetts, a small town 25 miles northwest of Harvard Square. I was homeschooled through high school, although I began taking many classes at the local community college during my high school years. Knowing that I could transfer many of my community college credits (thus allowing me more freedom to pursue my academic interests), I decided to attend UMass Lowell for my B.S. degree, graduating in 2020 with a double major in Biology and Physics and minors in Mathematics, Computer Science, and Biomedical Technology. Coming from a family of scientists and engineers, I was always interested in science, and I became enthralled with molecular biology in my early teenage years, a passion which has since continued. My interest in physics became apparent during my time at UML and I realized how well biology and physics intersected in the field of molecular biology. As an undergraduate, I had the opportunity to work in two labs, where I studied gene family evolution using bioinformatics and programmed a radar system to collect range measurements. Inspired by my interest in biology and physics and my undergraduate research experience in both fields, I am excitedly hoping to pursue research with a strong biophysics or bioengineering component in understanding cellular function and behavior. In my spare time, I enjoy playing the piano, baking, and spending time with my two cats! I am also half Finnish, and spoke Finnish as my first language.