Massachusetts High School Students Complete Program at Tufts University School of Medicine

Five-week Summer Program Supports Academic and Personal Development

BOSTON (August 19, 2015) —High school students, their families, and Tufts University School of Medicine celebrated the achievements of the 26 youths from the Bay State who participated in the School’s 2015 Teachers and High School Students (TAHSS) program. Established in 1989, the program is one of Tufts’ signature initiatives to foster aspiring young doctors, health professionals and scientists of diverse backgrounds by engaging them in a range of research and clinical opportunities and supporting their academic and personal development.

Students in the five-week program take anatomy and physical diagnosis classes with students from Tufts University School of Medicine and spend approximately 25 hours each week in a clinical or bench research position on the Boston Health Sciences Campus of Tufts University or at affiliated hospitals. The program also includes a research study project, the findings of which the students presented to family, friends, and the Tufts community on July 31, 2015. The subjects of research projects this year included asthma, maternal drug abuse, wisdom teeth, and oral cancer.

“The Teachers and High School Students program provides experience in research and clinical settings and also provides role models and health career opportunities. Many of our high school students establish life-long connections with their mentors and fellow students, creating a continuing community and awareness of diversity in the health professions,” said Harris Berman, M.D., dean of Tufts University School of Medicine.

“This program empowers high school students, and equips them with the practical tools they need to pursue a career in biomedical sciences or the health professions,” said Joyce Sackey, M.D., dean for multicultural affairs and global health and associate professor at Tufts University School of Medicine. “Each year, high school students come to Tufts and each year, we are renewed by their enthusiasm, dedication, and personal journeys.”

Participating students and their research projects were:

Happiness Agbi, (Dorchester), 16, Boston Prep Charter Public School

     “Dental Program Overview & Odontophobia”

Tatiana Bouchard, (Cambridge) 16, Buckingham Browne and Nichols

     “Methicillin-Resistant and Vancomycin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus”

Daniela Brea-Baez (Roslindale), 16, Edward M. Kennedy Academy for Health Careers

     “Impacts of Gentrification on Immigrants in Boston”

Jumar Browne (Springfield), 16, Sabis International Charter School

     “Autopsia: “To see with one's own eyes”

Natalie Burgos (Springfield), 17, Springfield Central High School

     “The Effects of Maternal Drug Abuse on Pregnancy”

Leena Chacrone (Newton), 16, Newton South High School

     “Minimally Invasive Surgery”

Nova Chenda (Lowell), 16, Lowell High School

     “Wisdom Tooth Extraction”

Samuel Ding (Boston), 17, Boston Latin School

     “Barriers to Accessing Medical Care for the Chinese Population”

Elizabeth T. Do (Boston), 16, Boston Latin School

     “Asthma: Inside and Out”

Bhumika Giri (Springfield), 17, Springfield Central High School


Kisha James (Lexington), 16, Waldorf High School

     “The Impact and Effectiveness of Group Wellness Visits”

Helen Karimi (Chelsea), 16, Chelsea High School

     “Patient waiting times”

Charissa Kim (Newton), 16, Boston Trinity Academy

     “Clinical Examination of Oral Cancer Research”

Eric Lin (Newton Upper Falls), 18, Newton South High School

     “Methicillin-Resistant and Vancomycin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus”

Jason Mar, (Boston), 16, Boston Latin School

     “Fluoride in Water: The Controversy”

Julie Q. Nguyen (Quincy), 16, Quincy High School

     “The Toxicity of Dental Amalgams”

Maria Phan (Lowell), 17, Lowell High School

     “Temporomandibular Joint Disorder”

Tina Phan (Lowell), 17, Lowell High School

     “Maxillary Expansion Surgery”

Eric Shan (Acton), 16, Acton-Boxborough Regional High School

     “Using a Mouse Model to Study Type II Diabetes”

Andy Shao (Westford), 16, Westford Academy

     “Hypoxia Induced Signalling Pathways in Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension”

Skyler Summerville (Boston), 16, Henderson Inclusion School

     “Dental Program Overview & Odontophobia”

Kevin Tso (Westwood), 18, Westwood High

     “Asthma: Inside and Out”

Jia Xin Wang (Lexington), 16, Lexington High

     “Asthma: Inside and Out”

Noah Winston (Lynn), 16, Saint Mary's High School

     “Dental Program Overview & Odontophobia”

Winson Ye (Newton), 16, Newton South High School

     “Social Determinants of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus in American Indians and Alaskan Natives”

Rachel Zhang (Westford), 16, Westford Academy

     “Drosophila Glutamate Transporter Effector Screen”

Students wrote about themselves and their experiences with TAHSS in a closing ceremony booklet, including these comments:

     They push you to go out of your comfort zone and you start enjoying it so much…you start doing things you’d never think you’d be able to or have the chance to do until college or even after.

     …One of my dreams is to create machine software that will aid physicians in their daily operations to quickly diagnose and treat patients…I have to move fast in order to help as many lives as possible…TAHSS [paired] me up with a mentor of similar field, exposing me to many different career paths that I have not even thought about before.

     I had an amazing experience doing my research on epilepsy.

     …Different directors and chiefs…have offered me volunteering and shadowing opportunities and [I] can’t wait to actually experience this!

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

Institutions hosting the students this year were Tufts University School of Medicine, including its department of public health and community medicine; Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, Tufts Medical Center, and Baystate Medical Center.

The Teachers and High School Students Program is funded by Tufts University School of Medicine.

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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