St. Joseph by-the-Sea High School has announced it will be launching a specialized program for its students focused on scientific research. The program will be led by Dr. Sara Guariglia, Dr. Charles Jenkins, and Dr. Christopher Ferrante, all of whom hold Ph. D’s in their respective fields, and will be taught in a newly constructed research facility on Sea’s Campus.
“The Scientific Research Institute will provide students with the opportunity to work on research projects that have the potential to make an impact on the lives of others,” said Dr. Sara Guariglia Ph. D. “Training these students will not only give them the knowledge and tools to understand important health issues, but it will also give them the opportunity to be published in Scientific Journals.”
Institute students will have access to a modern biomedical research facility on Sea’s campus. The program combined with laboratory experience will offer students the opportunity to perform cutting-edge research that is typically only available to college students in research universities.
“Our sole focus as a high school is to prepare our students for college by providing them with the curriculum and tools designed to give them a competitive advantage in a changing world,” said Father Michael P. Reilly, St. Joseph by-the-Sea’s Principal. “Science, technology, engineering and mathematics are the key to the future and we want our students to be at that cutting edge.”
Students will enter the Institute during their sophomore year and will be eligible to stay in the program until graduation. During their sophomore and junior years, students will work under scientist faculty mentors to perform a research project that can be presented at the New York Science and Engineering Fair during their senior year.
“This is a truly novel program for a high school to provide its students,” said Dr. William L’Amoreax, Professor of Biology and Advanced Imaging Facility of the CUNY Graduate Center and College of Staten Island. “An opportunity like this will not only give participants an advantage when applying to college, it will also position them ahead of their peers.”
While training, student efforts will contribute to projects that impact the health and well-being of others, while they gain critical skills in experimental design, experimental techniques, data analysis and data interpretation. Students will be working to conduct forward genetic screens to identify genetic determinants which are critical for normal development. They will also work to identify environmental exposures which may contribute to developmental disorders, such as autism, and to find which neurodevelopmental processes are affected by such exposures. The research that the students will undertake has potential to yield important data regarding genetic and environmental influences on development, thus providing them with the opportunity to publish their work and share their findings with the global scientific community.