YU High School for Girls Partners with Einstein Medical School to Inspire Young Women in Research Program
While most students look forward to summer as a time to relax—especially after balancing a rigorous double curriculum at a yeshiva high school—Yael Rahimzada, a senior at Samuel H. Wang Yeshiva University High School for Girls (YUHSG), chose to work in a pediatric nephrology lab, testing kidney transplant patients at Long Island Jewish (LIJ) Medical Center for arterial stiffness. Under the supervision of Dr. Howard Trachtman of LIJ’s Pediatric Nephrology Department, Rahimzada’s research allowed her to interact daily with patients, gain hands-on experience in high-level research methodology and ultimately, see her research, along with that of her peers, result in the publication of an article in a peer-review medical journal. Rahimzada will be among the listed authors of the article, “Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis and Chronic Disease in Pediatric Patients” to be published in Advances in Chronic Kidney Disease Journal.
Rahimzada’s internship was part of YUHSG’s prestigious Science Institute, a rigorous four-year science program, led by Ruth Fried, chairperson of YUHSG’s Science Department. The Institute’s curriculum includes a post-10th grade Summer Internship with YU’s Albert Einstein College of Medicine; AP science courses during the 11th grade; and a post-junior internship at the Garcia Institute at Stony Brook University, where students engage in additional high-level research under the guidance of Dr. Miriam Rafailovich, the director of the Garcia Institute Summer Research Scholar Program at Stony Brook.
“Mrs. Fried and Dr. Trachtman are incredible mentors for me,” said Rahimzada, a resident of Great Neck, New York. “In fact, it was Mrs. Fried’s freshman biology class that served as an inspiration for me to begin studying science. The idea of using science to help people live better lives is one that is incredibly appealing to me. Thanks to this summer internship and my high school’s science programming, I know I’ll be able to achieve my goal.”
Even before the Institute began, YUHSG has been partnering with Einstein to sponsor a Summer Research Internship, in which students intern at Einstein and its affiliate medical labs and facilities for 6-8 weeks of sophisticated research supervised by experts in their fields.
Coordinated by Fried and Dr. Ruth Freeman, professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Montefiore Medical Center, the program highlights YUHSG’s unmatched curriculum as the only all-girls Orthodox Jewish high school affiliated with a major university.
“More and more women are entering fields of scientific research,” said Fried. “It’s one that doesn’t typically promise a lot of fame or money but inspires altruistic goals such as helping people and changing the world for the better.”
Dr. Freeman, who initially approached Fried to suggest placing students in Einstein laboratories, works with her to pair the students with mentors who run research or biochemistry labs; head clinics; and study genetics.
“It’s really gratifying to see YU’s high school tell its young women that they can be scientists or researchers or doctors if they want to and giving them the tools to help them achieve their goals,” said Dr. Freeman, who has a unique perspective as a member of one of the first graduating classes at YUHSG, in addition to her degree from Einstein.