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Rackham Students Showcase Local Impact in Detroit at Panel Event

As part of the celebration of the Victors for Michigan campaign kick-off, the Rackham Graduate School hosted a donor and student event that showcased graduate students at Michigan who are engaging in new endeavors, taking on very different challenges, and having an impact specifically in the Detroit community.

The panel, entitled “The Future of Detroit: Challenge, Promise, Opportunity,” highlighted the ways in which the University is working alongside Detroit’s residents to strengthen the community and its citizens. The panelists discussed the impact of their work in Detroit and how their efforts are trying to rebuild this great city.

Student Spotlight: Lingli He

Lingli’s research addresses the issue of current eco-hydrological models and their ability to predict species-specific response to decreased water availability. Specifically, climate change with warmer temperatures and increased occurrence of seasonal droughts will overlap with the forest succession process, altering the species composition of forests. New forest composition will be impacted by advantages of individual species in hydraulic responses to future drought conditions. Her goal is to determine which species are less likely to be water stressed and thus more successful in drier future conditions. She says, “Besides solving scientific issues, I’m excited to convey the scientific implications of the effects of climate change on forest species to policy makers.”

Student Spotlight: Seçkin Akgül

Seçkin’s research is dedicated to understanding the biology of brain tumors and the development of the cerebral cortex. More specifically, he tests the effects of various genetic modifications on inhibition of a malignant brain tumor and at the same time tries to understand how they are formed. The ultimate goal of his research is to provide the clinical field with necessary information and methodology that will eventually be helpful in therapeutic interventions. “I have an insatiable ambition to understand how a perfectly normal cell transforms into a tumor and what I can do to help people with cancer.”