ISRP Students Enjoy Visit From Hackley Parent, Dr. Sara Palen

The Independent Science Research Program had the pleasure to host Sara Palen, PhD, P ’34, ’36 as the first of our guest speaker series for this year.

During her visit, Dr. Palen described her journey from starting as a biology major to pursuing a PhD in Genetics, becoming a project manager at Recombine, and working in her current role as a lead science writer for Natera.

One student took to heart that you can build your own path by, “keeping in mind your own skillset and seeing where that can be best applied.” Another student found it cool that “Dr. Palen had to learn about the topic she was writing about first, and then she collaborated with different scientists to write a paper or to create a presentation. I was amazed that one time she had to work on 17 projects in a span of two weeks!”

Thank you, Dr. Palen, for taking the time to come speak with our budding scientists and engineers.

All alumni and parents/guardians with present or past experiences in scientific research have a standing invitation to visit the Independent Science Research Program. Our future scientists love hearing your stories, and these talks are formative to their careers. If you are interested, please reach out to Dr. Andrew Ying at