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PRESS RELEASE / ANNOUNCEMENTS Monday, July 25, 2011

High School Students in the UCSB Summer Sessions Research Mentorship Program to Present Their Work

For high school student Nick Camarda, working with UC Santa Barbara chemical engineer Eyal Dassau on the development of an artificial pancreas is not just academic - it's personal.


A senior at Phillips Academy in Andover, Mass., Camarda is one of 82 students participating in the UCSB Summer Sessions Research Mentorship Program. He also has Type 1 diabetes.

Camarda and other students in the Research Mentorship Program will present their findings at a two-day symposium on Tuesday and Wednesday, July 26 and 27. The event will begin at 9 a.m. on both days in Bren Hall 1414 and 1424 at UCSB. The students’ research posters will be on display in the Bren Courtyard on Wednesday, July 27, from 4 to 5 p.m. The symposium and poster presentation are free and open to the public.

The symposium is the culmination of the six-week summer program that allows students ages 16 to 18 to participate in research under the direction of UCSB faculty members, postdoctoral students, and advanced graduate students. Choosing their own research topics in areas as diverse as science and engineering, the fine arts, the social sciences, and the humanities, students earn eight units of UC academic credit.

“For the past few years I have had the pleasure of talking to the students in the Research Mentorship Program about science and my life experiences,” said David Gross, Nobel Prize-winning professor of physics and director of the campus’s Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics (KITP). Gross holds the Frederick W. Gluck Chair in Theoretical Physics at KITP. “This is a pleasure since I find the enthusiasm of the students to be very invigorating. This program is clearly of great value both for the students and for UCSB.”

This summer, students participated in research ranging from paleontology and astrobiology to historical aspects of the ballet, “Giselle.” Other topics included developing technology to enable video recording of cardiology systems in transparent fish embryos; the impact of nanoparticles on living organisms in soil; stem cell differentiation in ascidians and in cancer research; and the role of apologies among groups, using the Gulf oil spill and its economic impact as the focal point.

Camarda and fellow program participant Robert Olsen, a junior at Hueneme High School, conducted their research under the direction of Dassau, senior investigator and diabetes team research manager, and Rebecca Harvey and Justin Lee, doctoral students in chemical engineering. All of the researchers work in Francis J. Doyle’s laboratory in the Department of Chemical Engineering. Doyle, a professor of chemical engineering, holds the Mellichamp Chair in Process Control, and is director of UCSB’s Institute for Collaborative Biotechnologies, and associate dean of research for the College of Engineering.

Of the 82 students in the Research Mentorship Program, 28 are scholarship recipients who come from UCSB partnership schools in Santa Barbara, Goleta, Bakersfield, Santa Maria, Lompoc, Fillmore, and Oxnard. Their participation is made possible by support from individuals, as well as businesses and organizations that include Bank of America, the Towbes Foundation, Venoco, Inc., the Cancer Center of Santa Barbara, and Rancho La Purisima.

More information about the Research Mentorship Program is available at www.summer.ucsb.edu/rmp.

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