By OBSERVER-DISPATCH:

Six undergraduate students representing colleges and universities across the Northeast completed the Summer Fellowship Program at the Masonic Medical Research Laboratory.

For more than 50 years, the Masonic Medical Research Laboratory has mentored and inspired talented undergraduates as they pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math.

For the 10-week program, students are paired with a scientist to assist them with tasks such as evaluating side-effects of new drugs, studying genetic abnormalities that lead to heart disease in young people, and potential beneficial therapies for those with sleep apnea.

“The Summer Fellowship Program is a point of pride among the staff at the Masonic Medical Research Laboratory,” said Dr. Brian Panama, Summer Fellowship Program director, in a news release. “We are fortunate to have a group of dedicated and highly accomplished scientists doing cutting-edge research, but their interest in guiding and cultivating the next generation of students is where we truly shine.”

For the students, the Summer Fellowship Program provides hands-on and real-world experience.

Summer Carbone of New York Mills and a member of the Utica College Class of 2017 said she looks forward to attending medical school and becoming a physician.

“My passion for science and medicine is very strong and I know that taking part in the Summer Fellowship Program at (Masonic) brings me one step closer to reaching these goals,” she said in the release. “It has been a privilege to be part of the Fellowship Program.”

Jacob Lux, who attends Mohawk Valley Community College, studied sleep apnea and related cardiac conditions. He said the medical research taking place in the laboratory is important work.

“Working side by side with the scientists, we are helping seek solutions to complex medical conditions, and by sharing our knowledge paving the way for improved health outcomes,” he said

The Summer Fellowship program owes its longevity to the many sponsors whose gifts or grants have helped to underwrite the cost of the program, including American Heart Association, IBEW Local 43 & NECA, Slocum-Dickson Foundation and Utica Lodge 47, F&AM.

This year’s class of Summer Fellows includes:

• Summer Carbone (Utica College), New York Mills.

• Suveer Desai (Boston University), New Hartford.

• Ismaila Ibrahim (SUNY Polytechnic Institute).

• Hannah King (SUNY Geneseo), New York Mills.

• Jacob Lux (Mohawk Valley Community College ), Marcy.

• Emily Rembetski (Utica College), Whitesboro.

• Additionally, Elma Sarajlija of Frankfort, a student at Sauquoit Valley High School, is working closely with the fellows on a program sponsored by BOCES.

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