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State Science Fair Project Leads to Summer Job at UMass Medical School

Empowering students to participate meaningfully in real-world research is what science fairs are all about. For any student, science fair participation has multi-fold benefits, but for some, like Emory Payne, the benefits pay off early and in a big way.

Emory and his science fair partner, Zohaib Moonis, both students at the Bancroft School in Worcester, MA, won "Team 1st Place” honors at the Massachusetts State Science & Engineering Fair at MIT in May for their project, "Effect of Ethanol on Beta Cell Development in Zebrafish: Linking Fetal Alcohol Syndrome to Type 1 Diabetes." Two weeks later, the duo headed to the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Phoenix, picking up second place in the Addiction Science Awards from the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

For Emory, the fun didn't stop in Phoenix.  He received the opportunity to work at UMass Medical School this summer, studying a gene mutation in hereditary breast cancer. “Getting so much exposure in the labs and getting to do independent research has been a great experience,” he says. “Being at UMass has led to awesome opportunities.”

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