Fifteen Central San Joaquin Valley high school students land in the hospital this summer

FRESNO – Fifteen students are spending this summer in the hospital, but they aren’t sick. The students were selected to take part in the 27th UCSF Fresno Summer Biomedical Internship Program (SBI). SBI pairs selected students who are going into their senior year of high school with faculty members at UCSF Fresno to work on research projects for two months over the summer. The program is aimed at providing students with hands-on biomedical research experience while introducing them to careers in health and medicine.

Some of the research projects students will be working on involve cancer, clinical simulation training, electronic records, hyperparathyroidism, poison control, pulmonary hypertension, valley fever and wilderness medicine.

The students will conduct research at California State University, Fresno, Community Regional Medical Center, VA Central California Health System and UCSF Fresno Center for Medical Education and Research.

The students will present their research findings on Wednesday, Aug. 6 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the UCSF Fresno auditorium, located at 155 North Fresno Street in Fresno.

Students selected for the UCSF Fresno Summer Biomedical Internship Program include:

  • Remy Hamada from Kingsburg High School in Kingsburg
  • Sydney Horanic from Liberty High School in Madera
  • Andrew Juarez from Farmersville High School in Farmersville
  • Megan Kalomiris from University High School in Fresno
  • Katiana Kindig from University High School
  • Benjamin Liang from Buchanan High School in Clovis
  • Melony Mody from Clovis North High School in Fresno
  • Olivia Pearson from Yosemite High School in Oakhurst
  • Karthik Ramesh from University High School
  • Japmeet Sandhu from Clovis North High School
  • Elizabeth Theng from Clovis North High School
  • Alexis Tran from University High School
  • Divya Vijay from Clovis North High School
  • Reina Warnert from Clovis East High School in Clovis
  • Esther Wong from University High School

“After high school, I want to major in biology at a four-year university. After that, I’m debating whether I should go to medical school or whether I want to pursue a doctorate in biology,” said Warnert. “I am hoping to gain real life experience in the fields of biology and medicine, eventually using this knowledge to point me in the right direction for a career. I want to gain knowledge from a hands-on environment, learning by doing instead of just reading out of a textbook.”

“At a young age, my life was greatly impacted after my dad was diagnosed with cancer,” said Hamada. “I want to go into the medical field to help people who have been affected by these types of diseases.”

“I hope to gain advice and wisdom regarding the practice of medicine and lab research from the experts who I have the privilege of working with,” said Pearson. “I would also like to make friends with people who are interested in the same field as me, who I may not have had the chance to meet otherwise.”

Since it was established in 1988, more than 200 high-achieving students have graduated from the Summer Biomedical Research Internship Program. Many of the SBI graduates are now health professionals. A number of them have returned to the San Joaquin Valley and are working as doctors, pharmacists and nurses.

Students from Fresno, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Merced and Tulare counties are eligible to apply. Students are selected based on academic merit, questionnaire responses, interviews, and letters of recommendation from their teachers.

UCSF Fresno SBI is funded by the Fresno Regional Foundation, Cal-Viva Health and other contributors.

For more information, please visit or email [email protected] or call (559) 499-6423.