Tucson area high school students among 36 top Arizona students in UA science labs this summer
Twenty-four Tucson area high school students are among 36 interns enrolled in a seven-week summer science program at the University of Arizona. The KEYS (Keep Engaging Youth in Science) program began May 29 and includes students from 15 high schools.
The following students, from the high schools indicated, are working in UA labs on the research projects described:
- Christian Daahir is studying the effects of liver disease on the expression of drug transporters.
- William George is sequencing and manipulating genomes using bioinformatic tools.
- Sam Gianelli is identifying and screening for the inhibitors of the Nrf2 pathway, a transcription factor that regulates a cellular defense reaction.
- Harrison Jacobs is researching the correlation between Inflammatory Bowel Disease and colon cancer.
- Angela Liu is tracking the trajectory of the growth of pollen tubules toward ovules usually found in plant fertilization.
- Abigail McCourt is determining the role of the amygdala in probabilistic decision-making.
- Caitlyn Myrdal is examining how the drugs DMFO and Sulindac work to reduce the size and number of adenomas and tumor growth early in colon cancer.
- Rayna Schwartz is studying diabetes, specifically the adrenal gland’s relationship to the beta cells of an IUGR model in sheep.
- Dagem Eshate is studying the functional relationship between cardiac disease and exercise, diet, age, and gender in mice.
- Caitlin Campbell is doing genetics research, looking at a mutant (cp3) in a receptor.
Ironwood Ridge High School, Oro Valley
- Emma Bose is involved in asthma research, making dermal fibroblast cells express genes that are found in embryonic stem cells.
- Richard Cordova is investigating the use of quantum dots to accurately detect and view colon cancer.
- Maggie Mang is working on analyzing the de novo gene mutations related to airway disease.
Mountain View, Marana
- Ashley Bright is helping to identify a specific protein kinase that causes cell proliferation and leads to cancer.
- Kevin Ehrichs is identifying trends between different effects of genes to find early stages of colon cancer.
- Anahi Herrera is working in bioengineering to identify asymmetric walking patterns in people
- Lauren Edwards is working in bioengineering to make liposomes in three different sizes.
- Thao Vo is working to find a gateway to deliver HIV drugs past the blood testis barriers to stop HIV from transferring to another body.
- Rodrigo Valenzuela is investigating the cardiovascular complications that diabetes mellitus causes.
- Rachel Dick is studying the application of microbubbles in drug delivery through the blood brain barrier.
University High School
- Kelsey Barter is working in genetics research, sequencing the genomes of several species of wild rice.
- Adam Berry is programming additional wavelengths of auto fluorescence to scan for hard-to- detect hidden colon cancer lesions.
- Ariana Manson is looking for both activators and inhibitors for the Nrf2 protein, an antioxidant protein that protects against oxidative stress such as exposure to UV rays.
- Ryan Silva is studying how animals solve day-to-day problems, and modeling a biologically inspired robot based on his observations.
The Southwest Environmental Health Sciences Center (SWEHSC), located in the UA College of Pharmacy, and the BIO5 Institute sponsor the internship program. This is the fifth summer the program has been presented. With this session, more than 135 Arizona teens have contributed to research projects across the university. This year, faculty in bioscience, bioengineering and environmental health sciences are participating.
Students’ internship experiences include a weeklong training institute and research under the mentorship of UA investigators and graduate students. Interns also attend weekly seminars to discuss their experiences and practice science communication skills. Their work will culminate in presentations to their peers and the public in a poster session July 13.
The skills and techniques learned in the program are enhanced by the opportunity to network with others who share an enthusiasm for science: fellow high school students, UA undergraduate students, faculty and other mentors.
“KEYS is a great opportunity for these students to see what science is all about,” says Marti Lindsey, SWEHSC community outreach and education director.
Learn more about KEYS: http://keys.pharmacy.arizona.edu