Edna Miao

2011 Co-Director

Edna Miao is a second-year undergraduate studying Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics at UCLA. She is serving as co-director for the university’s InnoWorks chapter.

Edna discovered her passion in science after taking a course in biotechnology in high school. She was amazed that she could manipulate so many aspects of the cell, and use it for the advancement of both medicine and society. She couldn’t get enough of science, and decided to join her school’s SMART (Students Modeling A Research Topic) Team in her junior year, where she researched the structure-function relationship of the protein mevalonate kinase and built a model of the protein using Rapid Prototyping technology. She spent the following summer working in Dr. Eric Huang’s neuropathology lab at UCSF researching the enteric nervous system of newborn mice. Edna was later invited to join UCSF’s iGEM (International Genetic Engineering Machines) team in her senior year of high school. iGEM is a synthetic biology competition hosted at MIT annually. She, along with 8 other students, worked in Dr. Wendell Lim’s Lab and designed a synthetic brake, accelerator, and steering mechanism for cells. iGEM showed Edna that she was capable of both designing her own research project and working independently; furthermore, she will never forget her excitement from analyzing her data and making novel discoveries. She wants to share her excitement for the sciences with younger students through InnoWorks, and hopes that they will be inspired as she was.

Edna has been recognized by the California Legislature Assembly and Congress for her talent and dedication to scientific research, as well as for showing exemplary leadership and outstanding scholastic achievements. In addition, she was awarded the President’s Volunteer Service Award for her work at San Francisco’s Veteran’s Affairs Medical Center. She is an AP scholar with distinction, and a member of Alpha Lambda Delta & Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society.

Currently, Edna is working in Dr. Samuel French’s lab at UCLA as a CARE Fellow, and is researching mechanisms to stop viral proliferation of the Hepatitis C virus. In addition to InnoWorks, She is involved with Association of Chinese Americans (ACA), where she learns about Chinese American culture and confronts issues that the Chinese American community faces, as well as doing various community service projects such as the Los Angeles Chinatown Firecracker Run.

In her free time Edna enjoys drawing, basketball, cooking, and hanging out with friends. She is also an avid San Francisco Giants fan.


InnoWorks is a Winner of the 2007 BRICK Awards