Third Annual "Discovery to Cure" High School Internship Promotes Interest in Science

Students from six area high schools have completed a six-week research internship working with faculty and staff in Yale School of Medicine’s Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences.

The third annual “Discovery to Cure” High School Internship Program fosters interest in science and research. Students participating in the program were from Mercy, Cheshire and Haddam-Killingworth high schools, as well as The Sound School, Lyman Hall and Covent of the Sacred Heart.

Students in the High School Internship Program

“Our goal is to expose high quality students from nearby communities to Yale’s labs and possibly open their minds to future career opportunities,” said the program’s creator Gil Mor, M.D., associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Yale.

Of the 45 students who applied for the opportunity, 15 were selected after visiting the Department and writing an essay on their interest in pursuing the internship.

“We selected students with the help of science teachers who chose their top students with an interest in research careers,” said Mor. “Many of the students had never been to Yale and never considered applying before completing this program.”

The 15 students were paired with a postdoctoral fellow, graduate student or laboratory technician who supervised them. They learned a variety of research techniques in different labs related to ongoing scientific projects such as PCR, a method used to amplify genes to as much as 1,000 times their size. In the past, students have spent the internship extracting proteins from human tissue, performing animal experiments or using high-tech machines for cell isolation or protein quantification.

The program culminated with each student making a presentation on August 26 on what they learned as part of their lab experience.

“The students assigned to my lab were doing college-level work,” said Mor. “Other faculty and staff were also delighted to have the students in the labs. They were willing to take the time to explain scientific protocol to the students, who were very bright, motivated and eager to learn.”

The internship program expanded this year through an interdepartmental partnership with researchers George Miller, M.D., of Molecular Biophysics & Biochemistry and Andrew Laudano of Pathology.

Promega Corporation, Tyco Healthcare/United S.S. Surgical Corporation, the United Illuminating Company, and a host of generous individuals supported the program.

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