Aspiring scientists show their stuff Saturday in Tucson

Posted: Updated:

TUCSON, Ariz. -- Aspiring doctors and scientists in Tucson showcased their research Saturday at the U of A.

Most of them are undergraduates, but some are just in high school.

Nematodes, nitrophorins. The average person doesn't know what these words mean, but these people aren't average.

"These students have really bright futures.  And we're really fortunate to have them," said Undergraduate Biology Research Director Carol Bender.

They're a part of the Undergraduate Biology Research Program at the University of Arizona.  These students work for months on projects they finally unveiled Saturday.

"I'm very proud to be here," said Robert Lopez.

Robert Lopez has reason to be. He's not an undergrad.   He's still in high school, in Tucson at San Miguel. So is his friend Marcela, an aspiring cardiologist.

"About a third of them go onto medical school and become physicians," said Bender.

The program is known for creating successful doctors down the road.  And with University Medical Center doctors in the national spotlight since the Tucson tragedy.  These young people want to step up to serve one day too.

"It would be an honor to be put in the spotlight like all those doctors and be able to do something great for the community," said Marcela Suarez-Berumen.

We caught up with one orthopedic surgeon, an alum of the program, who came by to see the future of medicine, the future of science, up close and personal.

He says being a part of UBRP changed his life.

"It afforded me the opportunity to be part of something that was bigger than a 21-year-old kid that's trying to make it class and not be hungover all the time," said Dr. Rhorer.

Dr. Tony Rhorer is just one of 99 former alums of the program that practices medicine right here in the state of Arizona.