This summer, a group of high school students will be doing actual scientific research at High Point University. It's called the Draelos Science Scholars Program. It’s possible, in part, because of the High Point Community Foundation.
For doctors Michael and Zoe Draelos, science is a passion. The husband and wife physicians are excited to be giving back to their community. “We provide a stipend for both the High Point University professors and also for the children. That covers their expenses to get meals and transportation. It's local so they don't have to travel across the country. I think that's one of the beauties of it. They get to stay at home,” Michael Draelos said.
For six weeks, high school students will do scientific research in the labs at High Point University.
“I had participated in a similar program when I was in high school. The program tracked me every year throughout my life and I indeed did end up being a research physician,” Zoe Draelos said.
According to High Point University Professor Veronica Segarra, “We are all very excited to have the opportunity to work with these highly capable, smart young students to help them develop an interest in scientific research and mentor them along.”
High Point University Professor Joseph Blosser helped coordinate the effort between High Point University and the High Point Community Foundation.
“I think what the Community Foundation does really well is developing relationships. They had a great relationship with High Point University, they had a good relationship with High Point Central, and were able to capitalize on those to actually put the logistics in place to make a program like this work,” Blosser said.
Dr. Zoe Draelos does research every day. Her lab in High Point is called Dermatology Consulting Services. Last year, the FDA approved five drugs that came out of her lab.
“I love research. I want to share that love with somebody else, because if you don't share your passion and your passion dies, you haven't given anything,” Zoe Draelos said.
She and her husband said they hope a Nobel Prize winner will come out of the program, or at the very least, the students will have a desire to give back to others.
“I'm hoping that these kids having been given something, when they get to my age, will give back as well,” Michael Draelos said.
The students who will be part of the Draelos Science Scholars Program were hand-picked by the Draelos' from High Point Central High School based on essays they wrote. The Draelos' are hoping to expand the program to other area high school students in the future.