Elena Carrington, a junior at Chase Collegiate, is well underway with her summer plans. While many are hitting the beaches or savoring summer reading, Carrington is participating in the Aetna Health Professions Partnership Initiative Research Apprentice Program. This is a competitive six-week program for students interested in medicine, dental medicine, or biomedical research with hands-on research experiences. Carrington is working with Dr. Jianjun Hao in the Department of Orthodontics. Dr. Hao does research on the application of stem cells in tissue engineering as well as in tooth and bone development. Carrington is responsible for an oral presentation at the end of the program and plans to share her summer experience with her classmates in the fall.
Carrington has been exploring her interest in dentistry throughout high school. Earlier in her junior year, she, along with other classmates attended the High School Mini Medical Dental School Program at the University of Connecticut Health Center. This weekly series of lectures was presented by faculty members of UConn Medical, Dental, and Biomedical Schools to Connecticut area juniors and seniors interested in pursuing health related careers.