Tufts University Celebrates Scientific Achievements of Massachusetts High School Students

Summer Program Encourages Multicultural Students to Pursue Careers in Medicine and Science

BOSTON (August 8, 2014) — Tufts University School of Medicine today celebrated the achievements of 26 Massachusetts high school students who participated in the school’s 2014 Teachers and High School Student Program.  The program is one of Tufts’ signature initiatives to encourage high school students with diverse backgrounds to explore their interests in medicine and biomedical sciences. Established in 1989, the Tufts program supports the careers of aspiring young doctors, health professionals and scientists by engaging them in a range of research and clinical opportunities. 

“Tufts is committed to encouraging young people to explore their interests in science, especially those from communities that are underrepresented in medicine and the health sciences,” said Harris Berman, M.D., dean of Tufts University School of Medicine. “We know that the bright, talented students who spent their summer with us at Tufts will go on to make lasting contributions to our communities.”

“For more than 25 years, our Tufts program has offered students a unique experience to students who may not otherwise have opportunities to explore their interests in medicine and health sciences,” added Joyce Sackey, M.D., dean for multicultural affairs and global health and associate professor at Tufts University School of Medicine.  “During their time here, students contributed in meaningful ways across the Tufts Health Sciences Campus and, we hope, could envision themselves in health careers.”

Students who participated in the six-week program spent an average of 25 hours each week in various clinical and research positions affiliated with Tufts University.  Institutions hosting the students were Tufts University School of Medicine, Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, Tufts Medical Center, and Baystate Medical Center.  

Students also took a gross anatomy and physical diagnosis courses taught by Tufts medical students and gained knowledge of laboratory-based science; a subset of the group completed a curriculum in introductory dental medicine and oral hygiene. In the process, students developed relationships with medical and dental student mentors that Tufts expects will continue beyond the summer program.

The Tufts program also includes a research study project, the findings of which the students presented to the Tufts community, family and friends today.  Participating students include:

Siddharth Annaldasula (Grafton), 16, Massachusetts Academy of Math and Science
“The effect of calcium salts on OCD behavior in mice”
Sesen Aron (Tewksbury), 18, Tewksbury Memorial High School
“Pelvic organ prolapse”
Eseosa Asiruwa (Lynn), 18, Lynn Classical High School
“SSRIs’ effect on children of pregnant women”
Ursula Biba (Quincy), 17, Quincy High School
“Health disparities and Train 4 Change”
Diamond Green (Roxbury), 17, Concord-Carlisle High School
“Cavities: Causes and solutions”
Li Ping He (Quincy), 18, Quincy High School
Jennifer Hong (Quincy), 17, Quincy High School
“Hypoplastic left heart syndrome”
Richard Huang (West Roxbury), Boston Latin School
“The effect of calcium on OCD behavior in mice”
Leah Kahare (Lowell), 17, Lowell High School
“Models of heart disease”
Kyle Katamba (Framingham), 17, Rivers School
“Astrocyte biology: Genotyping”
Mariam Khan (Somerville), 17, Prospect Hill Academy
Joanna Le (Newton), 16, Newton North High School
“Patient waiting times”
Karla Melendez (Dorchester), 17, Concord-Carlisle High School
“Obesity in the United States”
Isaiah Milton (Hyde Park), 16, Brookline High School
“Cavities: Causes and solutions”
Abigail Mutia, (West Roxbury), 17, Boston Latin School
“Dental anatomy”
Kristy Nguyen (Springfield), 17, Springfield Central High School
“Diabetes in pregnancy”
Louis Nguyen (Springfield), 17, Putnam Vocational Technical Academy
Carlos Piedad (Jamaica Plain), 16, Concord-Carlisle High School
Srey Rin (Lowell), 17, Lowell High School
“Dental anatomy”
May Situ (Boston), 17, Boston Latin Academy
Emily Taing (Lowell), 17, Lowell High School
“Stroke: The differences between males and females”
Shira Wald (Newton), 16, Maimonides School
“Dental impressions”
Brendan Walker-Davis (Springfield), 17, High School of Science and Technology
“Cystic fibrosis”
Sarah Wang (Boston), 17, Boston Latin School
“An overview of asthma and asthma management”
Anli Xiang (Dorchester), 18, Boston Latin School
Senila Yasmin (Wakefield), 16, Wakefield Memorial High School
“Wellness campaign”

The Teachers and High School Students Program is one of a number of “pipeline” programs at Tufts University School of Medicine designed to engage diverse students interested in the fields of medicine and biomedical sciences.  Tufts offers programs for students in middle school, high school, and college, as well as college graduates.

About Tufts University School of Medicine and the Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences
Tufts University School of Medicine and the Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences at Tufts University are international leaders in innovative medical and population health education and advanced research. Tufts University School of Medicine emphasizes rigorous fundamentals in a dynamic learning environment to educate physicians, scientists, and public health professionals to become leaders in their fields. The School of Medicine and the Sackler School are renowned for excellence in education in general medicine, the biomedical sciences, and public health, as well as for innovative research at the cellular, molecular, and population health level. Ranked among the top in the nation, the School of Medicine is affiliated with six major teaching hospitals and more than 30 health care facilities. Tufts University School of Medicine and the Sackler School undertake research that is consistently rated among the highest in the nation for its effect on the advancement of medical and prevention science.

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If you are a member of the media interested in learning more about this topic or speaking with a faculty member at Tufts University, please contact Jennifer Kritz at (617) 636-3707 or Siobhan Gallagher at (617) 636-6586.  

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