Ten members of the OSSM class of 2025 participated in the school’s 2024 Investigative Research Scholars Program (IRSP) this year. Over the first three weeks in June, these students worked with research laboratories in Oklahoma City to get hands-on experience for their future profession.  

The participating students are Lauren I. (Tulsa), Malavika S. (Edmond), Jyoshikha V. (Bartlesville), Vincent L. (Claremore), Zachary T. (Oklahoma City), Sylvana K. (Stillwater), Anthony P. (Edmond), Krusha S. (Norman), Katherine C. (Tulsa), and Mia O. (Midwest City). 

Participating institutions include the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation (OMRF), the University of Oklahoma Health Science Center (OUHSC) and its College of Pharmacy. Through the program, students researched cancer treatments and imaging techniques, cardiovascular health and many other disease-related topics. 

“A mentorship is an astounding opportunity for hands-on learning,” said Lauren Irwin, an OSSM senior and program participant.  

“A mentorship in high school is unusual, and I’m so grateful for the opportunity,” continued Mia Osita, another senior and program participant. 

“The OSSM IRSP offers students relevant, hands-on experience in research,” said OSSM President Tony Cornforth. “In addition to building teamwork and leadership, this opportunity demonstrates a student’s ability to think critically and gather data for evidence-based conclusions.” 

Mentorships are a distinguishing component of the OSSM curricula. Through the program, OSSM students have worked with more than 60 academic institutions, businesses, nonprofit organizations, and government agencies in the Oklahoma City area. Through these partnerships, students work alongside professionals in many fields including research, medicine, and engineering.