Biology faculty members Arpita Bose, Josh Blodgett and Hani Zaher get a new summer program off the ground

with further support to Arpita Bose through a "Changing the Face of STEM" grant from L'Oreal USA and AAAS

In collaboration with Mustafa Icel from the Gateway Science Academy (GSA) in St. Louis, Arpita Bose along with Hani Zaher and Josh Blodgett started a high School Partnership with WUSTL Biology called the Gateway Science Summer Program. This partnership supports funded research for St. Louis City high school students to experience what it feels like to work in a “real” lab. The funding comes from the GSA directly. In addition, Arpita Bose applied for the “Changing the face of STEM” grant, offered for the second time by L’Oreal USA and AAAS, a unique mentorship program that helps past “L’Oreal for Women in Science Fellows” bring about a change in the way we mentor young students ( L’Oreal USA and AAAS are very excited about the Gateway Science Summer Program, and they hope that their support will help spread the word in the local St. Louis community to start similar programs in other local universities. Melissa Evers was instrumental in getting this program off the ground, managing all the funding allocations and compliance issues related to having minors on campus. The GSA-WUSTL partnership is in its formative years, and further support from other WUSTL faculty, both within biology and beyond, would help this program make a bigger difference in St. Louis City. We, as a team, hope that this kind of STEM experience can help young students see what research can be like, and allows them to make informed decisions about pursuing STEM careers.  Please contact Arpita Bose at if you are interested in having a GSA student in your lab next summer! Together we can help St. Louis City kids have a fighting chance at both entering and succeeding in the best colleges in the US and beyond!

Gateway Science Academy of St. Louis high school student Agni Deeljore works with undergrad mentor Arjana in the Zaher Lab. She assists in studying the role of the ribosome through lab prep, quality control and genetic manipulation. Agni will be a senior in fall 2017. Her full-time summer internship will continue as a weekly occurrence during the school year during which she will experience more intellectual involvement in the project. Abigail Nagl and Jose Acosta also from Gateway Science Academy of St. Louis, work with undergrads and graduate students in the Bose and Blodgett Labs. Jose worked with Chris Kuse from the Webster Groves High School program to characterize novel marine bacterial isolates from Woods Hole, MA that can do neat photosynthesis with iron and/or electrodes. They presented their research on their last day in the Bose lab this summer. They will return to present at the Undergraduate Symposium this Fall. Abigail worked on characterizing the sporulation characteristics of Streptomycete bacteria that could potentially cure the “White Nose Syndrome” killing North American bats. These were isolated from caves at the Tyson Research Center. Abigail also presented her work on her last day this summer and will return to present her research at the Undergraduate Symposium this Fall. All students agree that it’s an invaluable and amazing experience to have the opportunity to shadow in Wash U’s research labs.