January 29, 2018

High schooler researches alongside USC pharmacologists, locks down Harvard early

Kiamehr, 17, works in a lab that studies the role of the microbiome in alcoholism. (USC Photo/Gus Ruelas)

It’s a Thursday afternoon and Sina Kiamehr, over 6 feet tall and clad in a white lab coat, goes up to the fourth floor of the pharmaceutical sciences building. He walks into a lab, checking in at the whiteboard to see what he’ll be working on that day.

Kiamehr is a 17-year-old high school senior, but it would be easy to mistake him for a graduate student: He’s in the pharmaceutical lab of Professor Daryl Davies at the USC Health Sciences Campus nearly every day.

He’s one of the leads on a research project looking at how the microbiome — as in gut bacteria — might be different in alcoholics. The team is looking at whether certain bacteria can foster alcoholism and if alcoholics could more easily achieve sobriety if they received a transplant of healthy bacteria. Kiamehr, 17, works in a lab that studies the role of the microbiome in alcoholism. Full story here.

The program is a partnership with Francisco Bravo Medical Magnet High School and supported by a USC Good Neighbors grant.