Eight VI Formers are spending six to eight weeks of their summers immersed in local laboratories around Philadelphia, completing college-level work firsthand as part of The Haverford School's Advanced Research Laboratory Cooperative.
"This program gives boys who are interested in science, engineering, and medicine a chance to see what really goes on in a lab," said Upper School science teacher Kara Cleffi, who oversees the program.
Research projects from this summer included: Zach Mattiola researching if a mutation lowers the amount of fat in blood, at the University of Pennsylvania's Smilow Center for Translational Research; Xavier Segel studying mitochondrial calcium ion channels at the University of Pennsylvania; and Eusha Hasan researching the effect of mutating genes in the mouse genome at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP).
"Alongside Dr. Tao Zhang at the Children's Hospital, I researched the effect of mutating two specific genes in the mouse genome: Nat10 and Sema3d. By exposing pregnant mice to extreme conditions like hypoxia, we were able to identify how these two genes adversely impacted cardiac development in mouse embryos," said Hasan.
Students must apply as V Formers to be one of the participants in the program. They explore and discuss current research from several scientific fields before identifying their own topic of interest and opportunities for placement in a local university or private laboratory. VI Formers Luke Egan, James Ives, Satch Baker, Kyle Wagner, and Matthew Tucker are also participating in the program this year.
In the fall, the students will learn how to formally write up their research for possible submission to competitions or publications, as well as for a presentation at Haverford's annual Research Symposium in January.