The Rockefeller University: High School Students Achieve in Science
By Erica Anderson
After spending their summer in labs at The Rockefeller University, about 75 students presented their original research at a poster session on Aug. 9. The free program immersed students in the work of the premier institution through hands-on training, working one-on-one with graduate student and post-doc mentors, as well as classes in how to think like a scientist and design experiments. As the program’s director Ted Scovell described the event: “If you step back, you just watch all this beautiful science going on, and people talking excitedly about [the science] they spent their summer doing.”
Emily Harms, Associate Dean, Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) Program Director: I help to oversee the Science Outreach Program. The programs last from 7 to 10 weeks. Students do hands-on research and experience science in a different way than they do in the classroom. They’re asking questions that people don’t know the answers to, questions you’re not going to find the answers to in textbooks. It’s a wonderful opportunity for them to get immersed in science over the summer and for us to mentor them, and to really nurture the younger generation of students who are getting interested in science.
Dr. Günter Blobel, Professor and Nobel Laureate in Physiology and Medicine: I’m very happy to be at the poster session of all of our interns today. I’m really surprised about the quality of the work and the range of the people that we have: high school teachers, to college undergraduates, to high school students. So we have from 16-year-olds to 30-year-olds, all interested in learning science at the bench. At the book, it’s easier, but to do experiments is a little bit more difficult, and I think it gives people an idea of what the life of an experimental scientist is.
Elaine Katz, Ramaz Upper School, Blobel Laboratory of Cell Biology: I researched the nuclear pore complex, which is a complex that’s embedded in the nuclear envelope and allows for the transport of macromolecules, such as mRNAs and ribosomes to go across the nuclear envelope between the nucleus and the cytoplasm. Specifically, we studied the two innermost layers of this complex, which are known as the transport channel layer and the adaptor layer.
Christopher Chin, Hunter College High School, Brivanlou Laboratory of Molecular Vertebrate Embryology on
“Generation of Fluorescent Protein-Expressing Human Stem Cell Lines.”
Daniel Pollack, Roslyn High School, entering Yale andLeah Slaten, SAR High School; Krueger Laboratory, Department of Investigative Dermatology; their mentor Dr. Dan Gareau, Clinical Scholar and mentor at The Rockefeller University on “Biophotonics: The Interaction Between Light and Life.”
X. “Stephen” Zhang, Grinell College, Vosshall Laboratory (SURF program participant) on “A Subset of Abd-B Neurons Are Required for Female Fly Pausing Response During Courtship.”
Chiara Heintz, Horace Mann School andIsabel Udo, Hunter College High School; Darnell Laboratory of Molecular Neuro-Oncology on “Fragile X Syndrome: Identifying miRNAs Which Regulate Expression of FXR1 and FXR2.”
Joseph Obiajulu, Union County Magnet High School, Brady Laboratory of Genetically Encoded Small Molecules on “Analysis of Heterologous Expression Capabilities of Streptomyces Strains via Biosynthetic Pathway Library Screening.”
Hannah Fagen, Paul D. Schreiber High School, Freiwald Laboratory of Neural Systems on “Can Rhesus Macaques or Macaca mulatta interpret the nature of conspecifics’ relationships?”
Faye Osgood, Staples High School, Friedman Laboratory of Molecular Genetics on “The Cellular Depiction of a Dietary Restriction.”#
Watch the video of these students explaining their projects and read the full transcript at EducationUpdate.com.