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August 1, 2006 > Local student spends summer in UC Davis lab

Local student spends summer in UC Davis lab

by Rick Pomeroy

Akshay Kannan, a student at Fremont's Mission San Jose High School, is among a select group of students attending the UC Davis Young Scholars Program this summer. The advanced science program, hosted by the School of Education, introduces up to 40 advanced placement high school sophomores and juniors to the world of original research in the biological and natural sciences.

Participants work one-on-one with research faculty in state-of-the art laboratories for six weeks. Each student works on an individual project and prepares a journal-quality paper and presentation about his or her work.

Kannan is doing research to identify genes that control the amount of carbohydrates (sugars) transported from the leaves to the fruit in tomato plants. This will allow the production of sweeter tomato fruits in breeding programs.

The program, which kicked off this year on June 25, immerses students in the entire college experience, including living in campus dormitories and taking field trips every weekend. During the first two weeks, participants attend lectures in the mornings focusing on recent developments in biology and natural sciences then they do lab work every afternoon. During the last four weeks of the program, students work full-time in their labs.

To qualify for the program, students must have a strong academic record with biology and at least two years of college preparatory mathematics. They must also submit a personal essay and recommendations from teachers.

All of the participants are highly qualified academically, take honors or advanced placement courses in high school and have high GPAs.

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