Northview High School junior Ethan Stewart participated in the 12th Indiana University School of Medicine Molecular Medicine In Action Seminar at Indiana University-Purdue University of Indianapolis recently.
Last month, Stewart and 49 of Indiana's best high school students took part in the event.
NHS Science teacher Phillip Leonard nominated Stewart to attend.
"He's in my AP Biology class and I had him two years ago as a freshman," Leonard said. "He is one of my top students. He is very thorough, very well prepared and I wanted to expose him to what it is really like out there (in the medical field)."
Stewart is currently sharing the valedictorian position with another member of his class and plans to continue his studies at Purdue University. He wants to become a large animal veterinarian.
To be accepted for the seminar, Stewart had to submit an application along with an essay.
"It gave me the chance to participate in labs and to see what it's like to participate at working labs at a college," Stewart said. "I gained experience by watching others do research and had a hands-on experience."
During the seminar, students split up into groups and tested materials. According to a press release from the Herman B. Wells Center, "The students in this year's program isolated DNA in test tubes, stained chromosomes in order to identify mutations, learned about issues in bioethics and practiced techniques for inserting genes into cells, among other activities."
Stewart said he met a lot of new people that he plans to keep in touch with via e-mail and Facebook.
"We were given a list of e-mails if we wanted to become friends with some of the people there," He said. "It was a great opportunity for me."
The seminar is intended to inspire students to choose scientific careers and to pursue careers within the state.
"This conference introduces the students to incredible new knowledge that is rapidly becoming accessible from the recent advances in biomedicine and the quickening pace of scientific discovery," Program Director Karen E. Pollok said. "We are celebrating 12 years of success.
"(More than) 600 Indiana high school students now have shared the excitement of what genetic science promises, both for understanding and developing treatments as well as cures of complex diseases."
More information about the Molecular Medicine In Action program may be accessed at www.wellscenter.iupui.edu.