Skip to main content

Timberview Senior Makes History With Extracurricular Achievement

Dec 01, 2014 12:29PM, Published by Kevin, Categories: Today, Community Mansfield Isd, Spotlight


Timberview High School senior Lauren Thornton (center) with her mother, Cynthia (left), and UT Southwestern STAR program manager Lynn Tam (right).



Lauren Thornton, a senior at Timberview High School, made history as the first Mansfield ISD student to be selected as an intern with the STARS Summer Research Program at UT Southwestern Medical Center. As one of 40 selected from a pool of more than 800 students from across the Metroplex, Thornton had the opportunity to take part in graduate-level research alongside a Nobel Prize-winning doctor.

"It was really an honor for me to be accepted because there’s so many people who applied," Thornton said. "Those interviews are very scary. When I walked out I didn’t think I was going to get it. It was awesome. It was a lifechanging experience to be in the lab, so I’m really grateful to be doing that."

Thornton's research was centered around the rare disease, congenital generalized lipodystrophy, which prevents its patients’ bodies from producing fat storage cells (called adipocytes). "This leads to a variety of metabolic complications including the development of diabetes, fat accumulation in the liver, muscular hypertrophy," Thornton reported in a presentation about her work.

The initial application process included submitting SAT/ACT/PSAT scores, transcripts, an essay, and a letter of recommendation from a counselor and science teacher. Out of 800 applicants, 100 were chosen to move on to the next round. Thornton was chosen after being interviewed, and she was paired up with a principal investigator to begin work in the lab.

The biggest challenge, she said, was learning the background information about the disease. Since the work is graduate level, the terminology is quite advanced. However, Thornton also learned lessons outside of the scope classroom and the lab.

"The biggest thing I learned is that I have to be balanced as an individual," she said. "It’s easy to set up in a lab and become a mad scientist type. It’s not uncommon for experiments to fail. You need to be able to balance lab life or whatever you’re doing with stuff outside of that. All you are doing shouldn’t be in the lab. You need to get out and do stuff and socialize."

Thornton is far from the "mad scientist" type she describes. She is also the drum major of the Timberview marching band and president of the spelling team. Outside of school, she is also involved with the media team at her church, responsible for controlling audio and visual equipment.

As for the future, Thornton hopes to major in cellular and molecular biology, which comes from her experience in the lab through the summer research program.

"That’s one of the main reasons I applied, to give me some direction," she said. "It helped me to narrow down and brought in my scope. I see there are so many fields out there that someone can go into."

Science wasn't always a passion for Thornton. In middle school, she hoped to be an actress or a writer. She said Lisa Davis, then science teacher at James Coble Middle School, directed students into a science competition. It was there Thornton said she realized the beauty of the scientific process. Davis continued to be an inspiration and mentor for Thonrton as she became a counselor at Timberview.

Thornton also acknowledged her parents. "They’ve also been really awesome to me and always encouraging me to try my best at everything."

As for words of advice to students looking to follow in her footsteps, Thornton's can-do attitude shines through.

"The biggest thing is don’t ever say you can’t do anything," she said. "Don’t limit yourself. I didn’t expect to be accepted. I just went ahead and applied. It’s an amazing opportunity. If you get into the program, it’s going to be challenging, but you have to keep moving forward."


Like what you're reading? Subscribe to Mansfield Magazine's free newsletter to get regular updates



Embed this content on your website

Embed


mansfield isd mansfield timberview spotlight UT Southwestern internships academic achievements


  • 2017 Mansfield Farmers Market

    06/24/2017
    08:00AM — 01:00PM

    In continuous operation since 2004, the Mansfield Farmers Market has experienced a renaissance in...


  • HillsideFIT: June Run Club

    06/24/2017
    08:00AM — 09:00AM

    Get geared up for summer with Hillside Village‘s HillsideFIT, a free fitness series taught by exp...


  • Mulch Madness

    06/24/2017
    08:30AM — 11:30AM

    Mansfield Water Utilities offers FREE mulch to Mansfield residents. Proof of residency required. ...


  • Medallion Help-Create - School is Out!

    06/24/2017
    10:00AM — 01:00PM

    Hip, hip, hooray! School is out for summer! Vetro is celebrating summer break with fire and flame...


  • Veteran's Benefit "Horsepower" Poker Run

    06/24/2017
    10:00AM — 07:00PM

    Paws for Reflection Ranch is a Therapy Ranch in Midlothian, TX providing equine/animal assisted c...


  • Brunch Time!

    06/24/2017
    10:30AM — 11:30AM

    Watch our resident critters enjoy their Brunch every Saturday at 10am! Our arachnids and amphibia...


  • Summer of Seventeen

    06/24/2017
    06:00PM — 10:00PM

    Activities Lunch is served weekdays at 11:30 a.m. You must RSVP by 12:00 p.m. the day before by ...


  • Something Rotten

    06/24/2017
    06:30PM

    | Broadway’s hilarious new smash Something Rotten! tells the tale of two brothers, Nick and Nigel...


  • Concerts in the Garden - The Music of Journey

    06/24/2017
    08:00PM — 10:00PM

    It’s quickly becoming a CITG favorite! The Music of Journey will have you rocking out to some of ...


  • The Grand Prairie Arts Council presents ALL SHOOK UP The story is all new, the hits are all E...


  • DFW Solar Awareness Day

    06/26/2017
    12:00AM

    Hello! We are putting together a day for solar awareness in the DFW area! Talk to your friends...


  • Each pair of new or gently used shoes donated puts us one step closer to our goal of providing Em...


  • Adventure Camp

    06/26/2017
    06:00PM — 09:00PM

    Looking to have an outdoor adventure close to home this summer? Come to Adventure Camp and try ou...


  • Adventure Camp

    06/27/2017
    06:00PM — 09:00PM

    Looking to have an outdoor adventure close to home this summer? Come to Adventure Camp and try ou...


  • The Human Library™

    06/27/2017
    06:30PM — 07:30PM

    Check out a “book” at one of our Human Library™ programs! Instead of print or electronic reso...


  • Each pair of new or gently used shoes donated puts us one step closer to our goal of providing Em...


  • Little Naturalist

    06/28/2017
    09:30AM — 10:15AM

    Dancing Dragonflies - Children ages 3-5 come learn about nature through exploration. We will rea...


  • Adventure Camp

    06/28/2017
    06:00PM — 09:00PM

    Looking to have an outdoor adventure close to home this summer? Come to Adventure Camp and try ou...


  • Little Naturalist

    06/29/2017
    09:30AM — 10:15AM

    Dancing Dragonflies - Children ages 3-5 come learn about nature through exploration. We will rea...


  • Adventure Camp

    06/29/2017
    06:00PM — 09:00PM

    Looking to have an outdoor adventure close to home this summer? Come to Adventure Camp and try ou...


 

Image title
Mansfield Area High School Sports

Community Champions