Throughout the 2018-19 school year, the first iteration of Nichols School's Research Scholars senior elective helped four seniors build a number of creative thinking and analytical skills before heading to college. The end product of that class work resulted in an excellent scholarly manuscript and a presentation to a major research conference in September.
Najya Fayyaz '19, Breanna Nelson '19, Sarah Rodwin '19 and Nicholas Scott '19 took part in a major research project under the supervision of Upper School science teacher R.J. Bouchard and Dr. Sai Yendamuri P'20, '25, head of thoracic surgery at Roswell Park Cancer Institute. This innovative class was designed by Bouchard and Dr. Yendamuri as an interactive, year-round experience for high school students to learn the full research process. The students studied statistical analysis skills, research methods, question generation and more with Dr. Yendamuri and other guest lecturers through Skype meetings.
During the course of last school year, the Research Scholars class used the fall to review research methods and question generation, develop a proposal and present their ideas to Roswell Park staff. Over the winter break, Dr. Yendamuri's team prepared a professional data analysis for the class to use, and in the spring, the class studied the results, drew conclusions and prepared their manuscript for presentation. The research is currently being prepared for submission to the Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery.
The end result was a polished manuscript titled Minimally-Invasive Surgery does not have adverse effects in NSCLC patients with clinical N1 disease. Najya Fayyaz '19 presented the group's work at the International Thoracic Surgical Oncology Summit in New York City from September 27-28, 2019, where she gave a seven-minute presentation followed by a seven-minute question-and-answer session. Previously, Nicholas Scott '19 adapted work from this project for his senior thesis and also presented a poster on the topic at the University at Buffalo Department of Surgery's Annual Research Day alongside medical students, fellows and residents.
Nine Nichols School students are participating in the Research Scholars elective this school year, developing a new research direction to pursue throughout the year ahead.