Student Stories: Research at Doral College

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Doral College’s partnership with its affiliate high schools allows for innovative and exciting projects. One such endeavor is the mice research program at Doral Academy Preparatory, run by Biology Instructor Yunex Echezabal. Dating back to 2011, when the College was first licensed, this program originated as a way to research life extension therapy in mice using Buckminsterfullerene. This compound is thought to have antioxidant and antibacterial properties, and is perhaps even capable of destroying certain types of pre-cancerous cells.

The mice research program allows students explore the multi-general effects of buckminsterfullerene on mice in combination with organic-based oils with distinct health benefits. Each of these combinations is categorized into placebo and supplement groups in order to evaluate the most effective stimulus of increased quality and quantity of life. Some might wonder—why mice? There are several reasons. Mice are genetically similar to humans, and since they are small and inexpensive to maintain, studying large quantities is very feasible. They also have both a relatively short life span and gestational period; these two factors allow for observable results within months as opposed to the longer terms required for a more complex species.

Students really are in charge in the mice lab. While Ms. Echezabal provides invaluable guidance, students are doing the work of caring for the mice, and gathering detailed data on the effects of each combination. This chance to conduct in-depth research while in high school allows students to implement investigative strategies in a hands-on, practical environment. It is an outside the box activity—an opportunity for the conceptual information students are taught to become tangible in a way that benefits their future careers as scientists. In fact, many of the program’s current participants do aspire to pursue work in the area of biological sciences.

DC is proud to support the ongoing investigative work of Ms. Echezabal and her mice research team and believes that opening doors to innovative research opportunities for students is an important part of its work.

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