One Affton High School student was among a group of 80 selected to participate in an intensive six-week research project with professionals and professors at the University of Missouri – St. Louis.
During the Students and Teachers as Research Scientists Program (STARS), students gained hands-on experience as they completed research alongside of scientists. In addition to conducting research, students attended lectures by nationally recognized scientists, were informed about the process for applying to higher education institutions, and enjoyed social activities such as bowling, a movie, an ice cream social and a St. Louis Cardinals baseball game.
Jimmy Lam, who will be a junior at AHS this year, participated in research focused on anti-viral compounds that could potentially be used to prevent HPV infection. Tasks included following up on initial discoveries and synthesizing a drug candidate, writing a detailed research paper about his findings, and making a presentation to his peers on the last day of the program.
“I became very interested in the work we were doing in the lab and enjoyed the ‘hands on experience’ it provided” says Lam. “Not that many people would get to do such a thing in high school. Most people would only get to do what I did in their graduate studies.”
In the future, Lam plans on applying to Washington University or John Hopkins, and is interested in studying neurosurgery.