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Jennifer Tu

Class of 2016-2017

About Jennifer

(updtead 6/2017) Jennifer Tu is a Chinese American born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. She graduated from Harvard College in May 2016 with a B.A. in Neurobiology and a secondary concentration in Global Health and Health Policy. She served as co-president and summer director of Harvard-Radcliffe MIHNUET, which brings undergraduate musicians to more than twelve long- term care facilities in Boston for year-round concerts, and introduced a “resident performer” system that fosters longitudinal relationships between volunteers and their audiences. She also co-directed the Harvard College Alzheimer’s Buddies, which matches students with Alzheimer’s patients for one-on-one weekly visits, and coordinated an IRB-approved research study to quantify the program’s clinical effects, which was later presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Copenhagen. At Harvard Medical School, Jennifer has pursued two research projects focused on cellular modeling of familial Alzheimer’s disease and analysis of volumetric differences in brain regions among the elderly.  By seeking out experiences in diverse social and scientific settings, Jennifer aims to build a deeper understanding of aging and related issues, including the incorporation of intergenerational interaction as a therapy for dementia and the elucidation of structural changes in the brain that occur with aging. In recognition of her efforts, she received Leading Age’s 2015 Great Minds Exceptional Friend or Family Caregiver Award and the Creativity Foundation’s 2015 Benjamin Franklin Legacy Prize for Creativity in Service.  For her Luce Scholar year in  Taipei, Taiwan , Jennifer Tu is closely observing Dr. Jen-Hau Chen in the Department of Geriatric Medicine and Dr. Tzung-Jeng Hwang in the Department of Psychiatry at  National Taiwan University Hospital, while working with Prof. Karen Chen in the Lab of Geriatric and Genomic Epidemiology Research, Institute of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine at the College of Public Health of the National Taiwan University, on a narrative review of quality of life and burden of caregivers for patients with dementia. Jennifer plans to pursue a career in geriatric medicine, integrated with innovative initiatives in music, service, and advocacy. In her spare time, she enjoys hanging out with elderly people, playing piano and chamber music with friends, sketching and caricaturing, running and swimming, and stationary shopping.

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