Young science STARS participate in research
By: Kate Uptergrove
This summer the Lafayette High senior is participating in a six-week mentoring program that just might help him decide.
As a participant in the STARS program (Students and Teachers as Research Scientists), d’Andrea has the opportunity to content research on various topics, including plant responses and environmental stress and cancer, gain knowledge on the college application process and attend lectures by leading scientists.
He is delighted to have been assigned to the laboratory of Dr. Keith J. Stine at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.
“We’ll be working on nanoporous gold structures and their use in cancer research,” d’Andrea said.
He admitted that before reporting to Dr. Stine’s lab, he knew little about immobilizing proteins on gold and the use of these structures in cancer diagnosis, but “Dr. Stine was very kind to send me 210 pages of research for me to read,” he said.
The first in his family to go into science, d’Andrea said he found out about the STARS program from fellow students while attending the Mini Medical School at Washington University in St. Louis.
In addition to d’Andrea, four other Rockwood students were offered the opportunity to work with scientists this summer through the STARS program. Those students include:
• Jacob Dean Cohen, Marquette High
• Jerik K. Leung, Lafayette High
• Alan Lu, Lafayette High
• Vivek Ram Vallurupalli, Lafayette High
The programs research mentors represent some of the finest research facilities in the Midwest, including the UMSL, the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, Saint Louis University, Washington University in St. Louis and the Solae Company.
“The university is thrilled to once again open its doors to some of the brightest science students in the St. Louis area,” Tom George, chancellor of UMSL, said. “The STARS program offers a unique and important research opportunity.”