High Point Central Students Immersed in Research through Draelos Science Program

HIGH POINT, N.C., June 28, 2016 – Projects involving zebrafish, yeast cells and ultraviolet radiation are part of the research that High Point Central students are immersed in this summer through the Draelos Science Scholars Program at High Point University.

High Point Central students applied and seven were chosen to participate in the new Draelos Science Scholars Program. For this 6-week program, high school students are paired with an HPU faculty member to collaborate on a research project.

“The first day that the program began my entire team was very supportive and have taught me so much within the first couple of weeks,” said High Point Central student Ambar Khawaja. “Once I learned the basics, Dr. Segarra gave me space to conduct experiments on my own so I could be an independent scientist. She has been a great mentor and has shown me that a career in the sciences is what I want to pursue. This program is great for people that may be on the fence about whether or not science is the track that they want to take after college. I am now more prepared for my science classes at High Point Central and I will be able to speak to my peers about my experiences and what I have learned.”

The program was founded by Drs. Zoe and Michael Draelos in partnership with HPU and the High Point Community Foundation. Dr. Zoe Draelos is an internationally known and respected researcher who works with major corporations all over the world. She is particularly well-known for her work with the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries, and her state-of-the-art research center is located in High Point. Dr. Michael Draelos is a well-known and respected gastroenterologist who has practiced medicine for 30 years in the community.

The Draelos’ goal for the program is for high schools students to develop passion for research and scientific study.

“This program has been great for these students,” says Dr. Veronica Segarra, assistant professor of biology at HPU. “I have found that they have a really strong background in biology and that has allowed them to plug in really seamlessly with their research teams and make contributions so early in the process. These students will be able to take a series of techniques with them that they can do independently and will be able to discuss and articulate experiments they have done in the lab to prospective colleges and universities. We are so thankful to the Draelos’ for their generosity.”

“Being put into the science world and having the opportunity to dive into experiments everyday has been a great experience,” said High Point Central student Jose Aguirre. “I have learned to work practically in a lab and write scholarly papers that would be acceptable in the science world. This definitely makes me want to pursue science as a career and take what I am learning now and bring that with me not only back to high school, but use what I have learned for research that I will conduct in the future. I have really enjoyed being here.”

The Draelos Scholars for Science Program continues daily through July 31.

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