Hepatitis B Foundation

Hepatitis B Foundation of Bucks County Launches Pilot Summer High School Science Enrichment Program

(Central Bucks School District supports unique research opportunity for students)


Doylestown, PA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 08/17/2007 -- The Hepatitis B Foundation piloted a two-week “High School Science Enrichment Program” this summer for talented students interested in gaining hands-on research experience and learning more about biotechnology and public health in the context of hepatitis B and liver cancer. The Central Bucks School District Science Department offered encouragement, support and specific ideas for the Foundation’s exciting new initiative.

Each student was paired with a Hepatitis B Foundation scientist and mentor to shadow and conduct well-supervised research projects in an assigned lab. High School student participants for the 2007 program included; Ayusa Sinha, Central Bucks South senior mentored by Nikki Barnes; Felix Lu, Hatboro-Horsham junior mentored by Jason Lamontagne; Matthew Mudalel, Central Bucks South senior mentored by Anny Dougherty, and Sohum Bhatt, Piscataway senior mentored by Ender Simsek, Ph.D.

According to Peggy Farley, Hepatitis B Foundation Community Relations Manager, “One of the Foundation’s key priorities is to help build the ranks of future researchers by offering a variety of educational opportunities to attract young people to consider a career in hepatitis research. This year, we selected high school students who were highly motivated and benefited from this research opportunity, which is unique in Bucks County.”

In addition to working in the labs, students learned about public health research, enjoyed special guest lectures and attended professional seminars. They were given the resources to learn about the outreach and advocacy initiatives of the Hepatitis B Foundation from the organization’s dedicated public health professionals. Each student was also asked to present a summary of their two week experience at the conclusion of the program. Students shared newly learned lab skills, findings of research projects in which they assisted, and a greater appreciation for how research can help reduce the burden of disease in the world.

“My two week experience gave me a more accurate view of how real labs function and how scientists do their work. Much of the knowledge and insight I have acquired here will be very useful for me in college and ultimately in my career choice,” said CB South High School student Matt Mudalel.

Based on the enthusiasm of the students during their final presentations to the Hepatitis B Foundation and Central Bucks School District representatives, the pilot summer High School Science Enrichment Program was a huge success. The students were unanimous in their recommendation that the program should continue next year and expand to allow more students to participate in this valuable experience.

About the Hepatitis B Foundation
The Hepatitis B Foundation is the only national nonprofit organization solely dedicated to finding a cure and improving the quality of life for those affected with hepatitis B worldwide through research, education and patient advocacy. The Foundation is located in the new Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center of Bucks County, which it created to expand and accelerate its research mission. For more information, please visit www.hepb.org or call (215) 489-4900.

About Central Bucks School District
The Central Bucks School District is a suburban school district located in the heart of Bucks County, with administrative offices in Doylestown, the county seat. The district includes nine municipalities: the Boroughs of Chalfont, Doylestown, and New Britain; and the Townships of Buckingham, Doylestown, New Britain, Plumstead, Warrington, and Warwick. Central Bucks has an area of 122 square miles and a population of over 101,000. The Central Bucks Schools provides all students with the academic and problem solving skills essential for personal development, responsible citizenship, and life long learning.