I was always fascinated by biology, but in high school, I thought the only viable career path in biology was to become a medical doctor. Since I hated blood I knew this wasn’t right for me, and I resigned myself to finding some profession outside science. Luckily, I participated in a three-year science research program through my high school that exposed me to the possibilities of a research career. I read primary literature, networked with experienced scientists, designed and conducted novel experiments, and presented my findings to others. Without this research experience, I never would have known what scientific opportunities were possible, and I would certainly have not become the budding scientist that I am today.
Tyler is currently pursuing a Ph.D. at Columbia University Medical Center in Microbiology and Immunology. He received his Masters from Columbia in May and graduated with a Bachelors’s (BA) in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Drew University in 2018. He is currently working as a Graduate Research Assistant.
I am so grateful to have participated in the science research program in high school because it helped me to develop excellent presentation skills that I still carry with me to this day. It also helped me to feel comfortable reading journal articles, thus preparing me to adequately dissect pharmaceutical literature. I am currently in my last year of pharmacy school and I work as an intern at the Thomas Jefferson University Hospital inpatient pharmacy in Philadelphia, PA. I plan to pursue a residency after graduation and work in emergency medicine.
Science research allowed me to push myself and reach endless boundaries in my goals of not just being an excellent student in the classroom but helped me develop into a well-rounded student through the invaluable research experience I was able to obtain as a high school student. This research experience as a high schooler helped me so much in my future endeavors because it gave me a platform to become a student leader as a college student by being one step ahead during my college research experience.
Science research in high school is what started my desire to do research in college and gave me a new appreciation for how we got the information we have in the medical field today. It excites me today when we talk about bacterial infections and antibiotic resistance because it brings me back to the research I conducted.
First-year medical student at Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine || Virginia Campus
The science research program in high school gave me the tools needed to excel in university-level research labs. I never felt like I had that awkward learning period that many of my collegiate peers had and therefore was able to jump into whatever task my professor had given me.
Lehigh graduate 2020 || Masters in Management program 2021
The opportunity of participating in science research during high school has opened many doors for me as a future healthcare professional. I am grateful for the foundation of skills, knowledge, and benefits that my research has provided me.
Through science research I developed skills in understanding and interpreting journal articles and finding ways to apply them to the research I was doing. Even though I didn’t go into the research field after high school, the skills acquired through this program were applicable to my engineering studies and career and made me a better student.
If it was not for partaking in a science research course in high school, I do not think I would be as successful in college. The process of researching, testing, and presenting my eventual work, made me a standout candidate when applying to numerous universities.
Science research taught me not only how to be an expert in my subject area and think critically but it taught me so much more about myself and my work ethic and determination. It pushed me to do things I never thought were possible, allowed me to win scholarship money and travel opportunities and changed my outlook on my future profession forever.
Through this program, I was able to learn techniques of scientific research, how to properly dissect scientific jargon, create a methodology for interpreting figures and graphs frequently found in scientific literature, and develop powerful presentation skills. With the guidance of a Ph.D. mentor at Georgian Court University, I performed an original experiment on the model organism, Drosophila melanogaster to test the hypoglycemic properties of a fruit known as bitter melon. I authored a scientific paper titled, “The Anti-Diabetic Effects of Momordica charantia in Diabetes Induced Drosophila melanogaster.” This early exposure to collegiate level scientific research gave me a tremendous advantage while earning a Biology degree at UNC-Chapel Hill and pursuing a career in medicine. I applied the skills I learned countless times while reading scientific papers assigned in an Immunology class or performing laboratory techniques in Organic Chemistry lab. I cannot thank this program enough for nurturing my passion for medicine and research at such a young age.