Pre-College Science

Weintraub Center has been a key research facility to provide a unique educational opportunity for high school students through the pre-college science education program. The program is a part of the UCLA School of Dentistry’s commitment to expanding and diversifying the pipeline of students in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) disciplines by creating educational opportunities, collaborations with faculty, and group projects in our research labs.

The program was originally funded in September, 2007 through a five-year grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), the program exposes gifted but educationally disadvantaged high school students to scientific research and potential careers in the health sciences. Funding from the Chancellor’s Office combined with additional support from Dean Emeritus No-Hee Park will now allow the program to run through June 2019.

Since the program’s inception, nearly 70 students have benefitted from exposure to research and science education. Weintraub Center researchers, Drs Ichiro Nishimura, Anahid Jewett, and Takahiro Ogawa mentored approximately 40 students of the 70 over the past 10 years. We are inspired by the energy and creativity of these young students, and convinced that our future is in their excellent hands.

By Drs Ichiro Nishimura, Anahid Jewett, and Takahiro Ogawa

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Testimonial

Being a high schooler who aspired to major in STEM in college, this program gave me tremendous insights and room for learning and growth....... Dr Ogawa and my mentor, Naser, and other graduates in the lab were very friendly, patient, and helpful to us whenever we were confused and had questions. Our suggestions were seriously valued during the lab meeting. .....The experience of doing research and working on the project truly taught me what it’s like to work in a lab and better prepared myself for my future goal....... I was extremely glad and proud to be part of this awesome program and would recommend it to everyone!
— Audrey Zhao, Ogawa Lab
 
 
 
 
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I completed the HHMI UCLA School of Dentistry Pre-college Pipeline Program in 2013 and I can whole-heartedly say that I am glad that I was able to be a part of such an enlightening and enriching organization. Through the program I conducted several lab tests that I was only formally introduced to during my third year as an undergraduate biology major at UCLA. Working alongside graduate students and experts in their respective fields of research, I was able to establish a professional etiquette that I still use in my daily life. The program also instructed and prepared on how to present my own research project, a skill that many people do not learn how to do until their undergraduate education. The program helped develop many valuable skills, it also affirmed my desire to pursue a career in science and my dream of becoming a medical doctor. I highly encourage anyone who has the opportunity to be a part of this amazing and enriching program.
— Katherine Marie Torres, Ogawa Lab
 
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Ms Nancy Silva and Ms Maria Sierra Asian B. Balatan in Ogawa Lab received a Student Award of Excellence at the AAAS (American Association of the Advancement of Science) Pacific Division Annual Meeting held at UC Riverside, taking Second Place in the Cell and Molecular Biology Section.

Ms Nancy Silva and Ms Maria Sierra Asian B. Balatan in Ogawa Lab received a Student Award of Excellence at the AAAS (American Association of the Advancement of Science) Pacific Division Annual Meeting held at UC Riverside, taking Second Place in the Cell and Molecular Biology Section.

Working in Dr. Takahiro Ogawa’s lab while I was in high school was something that I never in my life could have pictured doing. It was definitely and experience that I will never forget, from learning how to pipet, to making scaffolds, to cultivating mandible bone marrow derived osteoblasts, to learning what all that jargon means. In addition working with Dr. Ogawa’s diverse lab allowed me to experience different cultures at an earlier stage in my life which later on facilitated my transition to college. Working there and living in the UCLA campus really solidified my love for it and I am proud to say that I was able to continue my education at UCLA and I recently graduated.
— Nancy Silva, Ogawa Lab
 
Thank you for all your help and support.
— Michaela Scott and Brielle McDaniel, Nishimura Lab
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I never considered science as a career until I joined the program, By joining the UCLA lab, I realized the potential to impact humanity and to enhance the quality of life of a variety of people.
— Imani Smith, Nishimura Lab