High School Students from Across Arizona to Present Original Research at UA Event

"KEYS is designed to create unique, pre-college opportunities that attract the best and brightest students to the UA," said Fernando Martinez, MD, director of the UA BIO5 Institute.

WHAT: The Ninth Annual KEYS Research Internship Showcase

WHEN: Friday, July 17, 9 a.m. to noon

WHERE: The KEYS interns will present their research posters from 9-10:30 a.m. in the Peter Kiewit Auditorium, Room 2951, University of Arizona Cancer Center, 1515 N. Campbell Ave. The program will be held from 10:45 a.m. to noon in Duval Auditorium at Banner – University Medical Center Tucson, 1501 N. Campbell Ave.

PARKING: Parking is available at the Banner – University Medical Center Tucson, East Garage, 1501 N. Campbell Ave. Media representatives also may use their UA media passes in lots 2012, 2029 and 2030. The UA campus map can be viewed here: https://parking.arizona.edu/maps/documents/web-version.pdf

MEDIA RSVP: Members of the media who would like to attend are asked to RSVP with Lisa Romero, senior director of communications and public affairs, UA BIO5 Institute, at lisaromero@bio5.org

THE POSTER SESSION: A group of 46 high school students from across the state will present their research at the conclusion of the seven-week KEYS (Keep Engaging Youth in Science) research internship program, which began June 1.

THE PROGRAM:  Andrew Comrie, PhD, UA senior vice president for academic affairs and provost, will provide opening remarks and KEYS alumni will give presentations on how KEYS has impacted them. An intern recognition ceremony will follow.

During the seven-week immersion program, KEYS interns are enrolled in the UA and trained in bioscience techniques and communication skills. The students perform hands-on scientific laboratory research in UA labs, working alongside faculty, postdoctoral and graduate students. They emerge from the program having earned three UA academic credits.

"KEYS is designed to create unique, pre-college opportunities that attract the best and brightest students to the UA," said Fernando Martinez, MD, director of the UA BIO5 Institute.

The program is co-directed by staff at BIO5 and the Southwest Environmental Health Sciences Center (SWEHSC) at the UA College of Pharmacy and relies on financial support from foundation, corporate and UA sponsorships, as well as contributions from individual donors. Leaders are working to establish an endowment to enhance student support under the program.

This summer, KEYS students come from a cross section of Tucson-area high schools, as well as schools in Tuba City, Scottsdale, Phoenix, Shonto, Yuma, Kaibeto and Cameron, and were chosen from more than 150 applicants.
Since the program began in 2007, more than 90 UA faculty members have mentored a total of 279 interns, with more than half of the students from backgrounds underrepresented in science careers.

KEYS alumni data show that of now college-aged students, 56 percent currently attend the UA and attribute that in large part to their KEYS experience. Of those students, 89 percent are pursuing a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) related degree.

"The top KEYS programmatic goal is to give students real-world experiences that spark scientific curiosity and discovery, which can play a huge role in helping them decide whether to pursue science careers," said Serrine Lau, PhD, director of SWEHSC.

"I believe that programs like KEYS highlight the very best of the UA in terms of experiential learning opportunities," said Rick Myers, member of the Arizona Board of Regents and a staunch KEYS advocate. "Top performing students from diverse backgrounds who are able to spend quality time on campus and work in laboratories with our world-class researchers while still in high school are far more likely to be excited about returning as undergraduates.”


Lisa Romero
UA BIO5 Institute

Karin Lorentzen
UA College of Pharmacy