Congratulations to This Year’s Participants in the Forsyth Educational Outreach Program!
Just as we are committed to promoting the adoption of healthy oral hygiene habits at an early age with ForsythKids, we believe that encouraging interest in STEM early in a student’s career can help open their eyes to the exciting and rewarding world of scientific research. To do this, Forsyth created the Educational Outreach Program (EOP), which encourages young people to pursue scientific careers and promotes early success in scientific research by providing opportunities for high school students to work side-by-side with world-renowned scientists engaged in cutting-edge research.
The EOP provides High School students with an eight-week paid internship, where students are paired with Forsyth researchers who act as mentors to develop a project based on their ongoing research and the students research goals. Students shadow their individual mentor and are trained in laboratory techniques and the skills needed to complete their own project. Upon completing the internship, the students present their work and findings at a scientific poster session.
The program, now in its 28th year, held its 2016 poster presentation session at Forsyth last month. The overall quality, breadth and depth of the presentations given was impressive, which speaks to the efforts and dedication of all of the participants in the Educational Outreach Program. This year, we are proud to honor the mentors and their students who are driving the future of scientific research with their innovative projects.
2016 EOP Participants
Umang Bansal, Boston Latin School
Mentors: Drs. Megan Pugach, Felicitas Bidlack, and Ms. Yan Xia
Buffering capacity of the enamel matrix protein, amelogenin, in vitro
Bowen Chen, Winchester High School
Mentors: Drs. Xiaozhe Han, Yang Hu
The effect of CpG on B10 cell activity in vitro
Matthew Foutter, Lexington High School
Mentors: Drs. Alpdogan Kantarci, Shevali Kansal
Characterization of oral cancer cells (AK)
Nick Jiang, Wayland High School
Mentors: Drs. Felicitas Bidlack, Megan Pugach
Posteruptive Enamel Maturation in Pig Teeth
Aisha Rahman, Boston Latin School
Mentors: Drs. Susan Rittling, Rani Singh, Dan Faibish
Effects of osteopontin on the intracellular signaling pathways that regulate cell migration
Chelsey Skeete, Boston Latin Academy
Mentors: Drs. Susan Rittling, Christopher Johnston
A Bacterial Genomic Library to Identify a Hemolysin-Regulating Domain
Sophia Tang, Boston Latin Academy
Mentors: Drs. Antonio Campos-Neto, Nada Daifalla
Development of an Antigen-Detection Diagnostic Assay for Lyme Disease
Albert Yue, Phillips Academy Andover
Mentors: Dr. Seo-Young Kwak
Understanding the Effects of Leucine-Rich Amelogenin Peptide and Pyrophosphate on the Remineralization of Enamel
Alicia Zou, Boston Latin School
Mentor: Drs. Qing Yu, BoRa You and Jing Zhou
Effects of Cytokines on the Function of the Salivary Glands
Jonathan Zou, Boston Latin School
Mentor: Drs. Alpdogan Kantarci, Shevali Kansal, Ms. Olivia Nguyen, Gauri Patil
Impact of RvE1 on periodontal inflammation in diabetes
All of the students that participate in the Forsyth Educational Outreach Program bring their unique perspectives on the future of scientific research and a fresh insight to the field. I had the pleasure of mentoring local Boston resident and 2016 High School graduate Chelsey Skeete, who won a gold medal at the National Afro-Academic Cultural Technological Science Olympics (ACT-SO) for her project this year. The NAACP's Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics is a yearlong achievement program designed to recruit, stimulate, and encourage high academic and cultural achievement among African-American high school students. Additionally, Chelsey came in first place at this year’s Massachusetts State Science and Engineering Fair. Over the course of Chelsey’s three year participation in the EOP, she focused her efforts on a molecular microbiology project titled “A Prevotella intermedia Genomic Library to Identify Hemolysin Genes”. Chelsey is currently attending the Gateway Scholars program at Boston College, and hopes to pursue a joint MD/PhD program in future. It was a pleasure to work with Chelsey, and we expect to see great things in her future scientific career!
Congratulations again to this all of this year’s participants for their great work. If you or someone you know would like to percolate in the EOP, you can learn more about it and apply here: Forsyth Educational Outreach Program.
Special thanks to Dr. Martin Taubman for his leadership and vision and to our friends at Colgate who have provided continued support for the EOP initiative for more than 20 years!
By Christopher Johnston, PhD, Assistant Research Investigator