Four Silva Magnet students enrolled on the frontline of direct instruction with TTUHSC


EL PASO, TX (KTSM) — In a first, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) is creating a direct teaching line to Maxine L. Silva Health Magnet High School for its Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, four seniors enrolled.

Four Maxine L. Silva Health Magnet High School students are the first enrolled in a new pipeline training program with the Francis Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso.

Every other day, students observe and work in the research labs of the Francis Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences in Medical Sciences Building I on the TTUHSC El Paso campus.

The goal is to expose these students to our biomedical sciences. This is hands-on experience that will give them an edge for a future career or research path. Few students their age will have this type of opportunity when they enter college and apply for competitive internships.

Rajkumar Lakshmanaswamy, Ph.D., Dean of Graduate School

The Francis Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences provides students with hands-on biomedical science experiences and research experiences in a wide range of laboratories. In this environment, high school students gain experience that they would normally have to wait several years for once in college.

The first students enrolled in the pipeline program are:

  • Carlos Araujo, who plans to attend El Paso Community College and is majoring in biomedical engineering.
  • Shreeya Patel, who plans to attend the University of Texas at El Paso and major in biochemistry.
  • James White, who plans to attend the University of Alaska Fairbanks and is majoring in marine biology.
  • Camila Avila-Escobar, who plans to attend Nova Southeastern University and is majoring in marine biology.

Although the career paths students want vary, they all jumped at the chance to take the course. White wanted to see if lab work was something he would like to do. Patel said she wanted to get an idea of ​​what college classes would be like. And Avila-Escobar and Araujo both want to make the world a better place.

I’ve always been interested in working in the lab and helping patients behind the scenes. I know that if I have a future in this field, I can help the community here. The possibilities are endless – from vaccine development to disease testing and more.

Carlos Araujo, senior, Maxine L. Silva Health Magnet High School

The program also comes at a crucial time, as there is a need for more diversity in studies and careers in biomedical sciences. According to the latest report from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are approximately 143,000 people employed as “medical scientists” in the country. Of these, 58.2% were white, 33.8% were Asian, 7.9% were Hispanic, and 5.1% were African American. “More diversity initiatives are needed to meet the demands of health sciences and changing demographics in the United States,” states the website of the Society for Diversity in the Biomedical Sciences.

This year, the course is only available during the students’ spring semester, but starting in the fall, it will be taught year-round. The first half of this semester included shadowing Dr. Lakshmanaswamy and graduate students while learning proper procedures and workflow. Students will become more engaged during the second half of the semester.

It’s great to see these students come in and their eyes light up because they can see a future in healthcare, research, or even a path to college that they may not have considered. previously. This is why our campus exists, to build a culture and interest in health and biomedical sciences with our young people. It is also great for our graduate students to teach and mentor high school students. They can pass on what they have learned and grow as educators themselves.

Rajkumar Lakshmanaswamy, Ph.D., Dean of Graduate School

Dr. Lakshmanaswamy said he would be more than happy to see the four elders return one day as students at TTUHSC El Paso. The Francis Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences currently offers a two-year master’s degree in biomedical sciences, as well as a post-baccalaureate certificate program designed to meet the additional post-baccalaureate educational needs of professionals and individuals requiring additional coursework for graduate studies. , admission to medical school and dental school.

The start of the course was special for Silva Health Magnet teacher Romero, who graduated from high school just four years ago. She said she would have taken the course herself if it was available at the time.

These students are just as essential to the foundation of this program as myself and Dr. Lakshmanaswamy. I hope what we have learned this year will put the program on the right track, and I am happy to have started this legacy in our high school.

Alheli Romero, former student and teacher of Silva Health Magnet

Patel said she was proud to be a member of the first class and hopes the program will grow from the first steps they have taken this year.

I have experienced things I never thought I would experience thanks to Ms. Romero and Dr. Lakshmanaswamy. I worked with state-of-the-art equipment and saw real results. It’s a kind of confidence that I will bring to the university that wouldn’t have been possible without them and this program.

Shreeya Patel, senior, Maxine L. Silva Health Magnet High School

As part of the mission of the Francis Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, educators provide a dynamic research environment that focuses on conditions directly affecting residents of this region and other rapidly growing Hispanic populations. World-class research is also a driver of economic impact, spurring large companies to create additional facilities, expand biomedical manufacturing, incubate start-ups and create well-paying jobs.

In 2021, 129 students graduated from the Francis Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. Most graduates attend medical or dental school or pursue their doctorate. after graduation.

For local news and breaking news, sports, weather alerts, videos and more, download the FREE KTSM 9 News app from Apple App Store or the Google Play Store.


About Author

Comments are closed.