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Parkway's student scientists

Luba Ezerskiy of West High
Budding student scientists Luba Ezerskiy of West High, and Jodie Guller of North High, recently presented their research to senior scientists at Solae, an international soy food developer and manufacturer based in St. Louis.

“It is rare for senior corporate scientists to want to listen to high school students,“ says Kenneth Mares of the University of Missouri-St. Louis. “Parkway has always had a superior reputation in science. This is an incredible honor.”

I had the chance to preview my future, and I found I loved it,” says Luba who spent six weeks at a St. Louis University lab studying morphine-treated cells to determine their impact on neurons.

Luba conducted her research as part of the Students and Teachers as Research Scientists (STARS) program at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. The program pairs students with research mentors from Donald Danforth Science Center, St. Louis University, Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville and Washington University.

Eventually, Luba would like to do cancer research. She was born close to the Chernobyl
Jodie Guller of North High
nuclear station in Ukraine, and she says her birthplace has greatly influenced her career choice. “I know people who died of cancer in Chernobyl. My grandfather was one of them.”

Her dream college is Washington University, from which she would like to receive a Ph.D. in bio chemistry and molecular biology.

“I remember driving by Washington University when I was 4, the year my family moved to St. Louis. It reminded me of a castle. It may sound silly, but I told myself then that when I grow up, I want to be the princess in that castle. It’s amazing now that I realize the school can help me achieve my dream.”

Luba credits Parkway for much of her success. “My parents moved here because of the excellent academics.”

The four languages Luba speaks--English, Russian, French and Spanish--will also help her achieve her dream. “Scientists need to communicate with each other,” she explains.

Like Luba, Jodie Guller conducted her research as part of the STARS program, which is sponsored by Pfizer Inc., LMI Aerospace Inc./D3 Technologies and Solae. Jodie studied the impact of caffeine on preterm infants and is “honored” that senior Solae scientists have invited her to make a presentation.