Charlotte Collins of Woolwich, an MDI Biological Laboratory high school summer research fellow. Collins is a student at North Yarmouth Academy in Yarmouth. PHOTO COURTESY OF THE MDI BIOLOGICAL LABORATORY

High school fellows engaged in real-world research

BAR HARBOR — Nine high school students participated in research fellowships at the MDI Biological Laboratory this summer, including eight from high schools in the state of Maine.

Among the fellows from Maine was Celeigh Weaver, a Mount Desert Island High School student from Lamoine. Weaver worked with Robert Preston, a professor of physiology at Illinois State University in Normal, Ill.

“Though we are primarily a research institution, we also have a long and impressive track record in science education,” said Jane E. Disney, the institution’s director of education.

“Our summer fellowships expose high school students to career options in the biomedical sciences and help build the pipeline of well-trained workers that is critical to developing a thriving science and technology sector in Maine.”

The research fellowships support high school students who work in the laboratories of resident or visiting scientists on hands-on research projects, with each student being supervised by a senior scientist mentor. The fellowships also provide students with other educational opportunities, including an extensive scientific seminar program, professional development workshops and dedicated residential life programs.

“I’m learning things no one else has learned before, like how a particular gene functions in the regeneration of the zebrafish tailfin, which is knowledge we can use to learn how to regenerate limbs in humans,” said Charlotte Collins of Woolwich, a high school student at North Yarmouth Academy in Yarmouth.

“It’s very cool that I can be a part of that as a 17-year-old.”

The summer fellowships for Maine students were funded through the James Slater Murphy M.D. Fund, established in the name of James S. Murphy, a distinguished virologist and a lifelong summer resident of Mount Desert Island, and the Maine Scholars Program Fund, which includes contributions from the Hearst Foundations, a national philanthropic resource that supports outstanding nonprofit organizations.



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