High School Seniors Introduced to College-level Research
22 August 1997
here were no complaints from the 13 rising high school seniors who spent six weeks this summer studying DNA technology, gene cloning, and gene mapping in a Catholic University biology lab.
"It gives me the experience I need for college," said Chigozie Ogwuebgu, 16, who attends Banneker High School in Washington, D.C., and plans to be a surgeon.
"I like being ahead," said classmate Roosevelt Abney, 17, a student at Ballou Math Science Technology Center in Washington.
Professor Emeritus Roland M. Nardone developed the Gene Search Project to introduce high school students to college-level DNA research and the Human Genome Project, which is revolutionizing biomedical research.
"Some of the students think they want to be scientists, but they're not sure," added Professor Nardone, who directs the campus Discovery Center for Cell and Molecular Biology." This is a good way for them to find out."
The students followed a rigorous academic program that included lectures, lab experiments, quizzes, library research, writing research papers, and field trips. The students rigorously questioned Professor Nardone and program coordinator Marlena L. Jones about the whys and hows of their research. Just how much material is needed for DNA fingerprinting? How does DNA fingerprinting work? How can gene therapy be used to cure genetic diseases?
The program was sponsored by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases of the National Institutes of Health.
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