The Summer Fellowship Program is directed by Harbor Pediatrics professor of Pediatrics Dr. Basil Ibe.
The LA BioMed Summer Fellowship Program has been providing Senior and graduating high school students with hands-on science learning and career exploration opportunities since 1977. This, its 38th year, brings the number to more than 400 people who have gotten the opportunity for real-life experience in the laboratory setting under the guidance of some of the nation’s leading biomedical investigators and physicians.
Students are selected on the basis of a rigorous review process. Each student is matched with a biomedical researcher for eight weeks to study topics ranging from women’s health to fetal development to non-invasive angiography. Students attend clinical conferences and lectures, and work closely with their mentors to conduct their own biomedical research projects.
For Natalie Rivas, a senior at Port of Los Angeles High School, it’s been a blast. “It’s really interesting and really fun,” she says. “I’ve learned a lot. It’s interesting being a part of research.” Natalie has been working with lambs and hypoxic studies, doing injections on them and studying their breathing patterns.
The eight week fellowship culminated with several pairs of fellows presenting their summer's research in front of colleagues and family. The array of topics varied. Ryan Cosner from Mari Costa High School, mentored by Dr. Patricia Dickson, presented his research: "An Easier Method to Determine the Effective Treatment of Genetic Disease". Aforementioned Natalie Rivas researched "Effects of a Neurotoxin and Lack of Oxygen on Newborn Lambs". The ceremony was ended with each fellow's poster being presented.
At a time when the need for quality science education is greater than ever, the summer fellowship program plays an important role in preparing students for college and for subsequent careers in science and medicine.