High school student mentored by Dr. Zeljko Bosnjak and Jessica Olson honored for her research project

April 17, 2014 College News - Karina Schmidt, a junior from Divine Savior Holy Angels High School in Wauwatosa, won the Best in Fair award at the Badger State Science and Engineering Fair for a project she conducted under the guidance of Dr. Zeljko Bosnjak, Professor of Anesthesiology and Physiology, and Jessica Olson, a graduate student. As part of the award, Schmidt received a paid trip to Los Angeles to compete in an international science fair.

Schmidt’s poster, Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Cardiomyocytes as a Model for Ischemia Reperfusion Injury, had initially been entered into two local science fair competitions – where she won third place in the health and medicine category. In addition to the Best in Fair award and the honors at the local competitions, Schmidt also won a Society for In Vitro Biology Award, an Optics and Photonics Science Fair Award, the Surgeon General's Special Science Award Certificate, the Yale Science and Engineering Award, and one week at MSOE Summer Camp.

Dr. Bosnjak’s lab participates in this program through a Master Affiliation Agreement between the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) and Divine Savior Holy Angels (DSHA) High School. The purpose of the program is to provide scientific learning experiences for a high school student by mentoring and supporting the student with her independent science research project. As part of the program, Schmidt worked with Dr. Bosnjak’s stem cell lab and was placed under the auspices of graduate student Jessica Olson. Olson and Schmidt met periodically in the lab throughout the school semester.

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