Tanja Hadzic
(Department of Immunolgy, University of Iowa)

From Bosnian émigré to graduate study

Tanja Hadzic experienced the horrors of war growing up in Prozor, a small city near Sarajevo in Bosnia. She immigrated to Florida in 1994 with her family and by 1998 her diligent efforts were already paying off by winning the district essay competition (inset, lower right). She entered Eckerd College in Florida and was accepted into our REU program as a freshman in 1998. Her research results that summer were included with other work from her mentors in the Whitesides group on the self-assembly of three-dimensional mesostructures that was submitted to Science; she appeared as an author on that paper (inset, lower left). She continued to pursue research upon her return to Eckerd and the next summer at Cornell University. Based on her studies of the immunology of dendritic cells, she changed her interest from medical school to pursuing graduate research. She joined the Immunology doctoral program at the University of Iowa in 2001. In her words, "I have to say that if I was not given the opportunity to experience research first-hand at all these different institutions, I would not have fallen in love with research." She continued to stay in touch with Ned Bowden (shown above) from the Whitesides group who joined the Department of Chemistry at the University of Iowa in July 2002, illustrating that mentoring continues long after the REU summer experience.

Harvard MRSEC (DMR-0820484)