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Clara Briley, 17, will graduate YHS with Class of 2016

YHS Senior Clara Briley Researching Valley Health Issues

UCSF Biomed program with Clara Briley - courtesy of UCSF SBI

Ten students were chosen for UCSF Summer Biomed Internship including Clara Briley

FRESNO – Yosemite High School’s Clara Briley is one of ten students from the Central San Joaquin Valley recently selected to take part in the 28th UCSF Fresno Summer Biomedical Internship Program (SBI). Students will spend the summer researching valley health issues.

“The SBI program is an amazing opportunity for high school students interested in careers in medicine and science to get hands-on training in research with a faculty physician,” says Tiffany Robinson, who helps coordinate the program as Executive Assistant to Michael Peterson, M.D.

“They get to experience a field trip to UCSF’s main campus, witness a surgery of their choosing, and participate in a research project with a physician mentor. They are learning fundamentals of medicine and research they may not have much opportunity to do in high school. For those students pursuing careers in science — really, any career — the SBI program gives them an edge for understanding in not only key scientific concepts, but helps develop their concentration and attention to detail as well.”

SBI pairs selected students going into their senior year of high school with faculty members at UCSF Fresno to work on research projects for two months over the summer. The students will conduct research at California State University, Fresno, Community Regional Medical Center, Sierra Pacific Orthopaedic Center and UCSF Fresno Center for Medical Education and Research.

“We have 10 interns this year, with seven boys and three girls, and thirteen physicians. Some students doubled up with a department. For example, GI has four physicians working on GI research, and they requested two students to assist.

“We have one student working in Diabetes research with Dr. Soe Naing, one on the Toxic Registry with Dr. Rais Vohra, one that assists and participates in the Intern Bootcamp with Dr. Stacy Sawtelle – which is the orientation we have for new residents joining our team at UCSF Fresno. Two students will be working with Dr. Paul Mills and Dr. Michael Peterson on Lung Cancer Research. We have two students from Visalia, three that attend University High, four that attend Clovis schools, and Clara from Yosemite High School.”

UCSF Biomed Clara Briley with Dr. Candice Yuvienco

Dr. Candice Yuvienco is Clara Briley’s mentor for the UCSF Summer Biomed Internship

Clara is working with Dr. Candice Yuvienco on research to chart the number of times patients with lupus are readmitted to the hospital. Clara and the other students have received special training in computer programs and HIPAA privacy laws as part of the program.

“A career in medicine would be fascinating for me,” says the Coarsegold resident, who is enrolled in a full International Baccalaureate program at YHS and is Vice-President to the Class of 2015.

“Working collectively to create vaccines and cures for diseases that will help people all over the world is compelling. Another career in science I’m looking at is a forensic scientist or forensic detective. Working with police to solve crimes with science is something else that piques my interest.”

Clara also swims and dives for YHS and is an avid music afficianado who is proud of her eclectic tastes. Her equally proud parents are Dave Briley and Kellie Flanagan Briley. Clara has a dog, two cats, a lizard, a fish and some chickens.

Including Clara, sixty-six students applied for the program this year. Students from Fresno, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Merced and Tulare counties are eligible to apply, and they’re ultimately selected based on academic merit, questionnaire responses, interviews, and letters of recommendation from their teachers. Since it was established in 1988, more than 200 high-achieving students have graduated from the Summer Biomedical Research Internship Program. Many of the SBI graduates are now health professionals. A number of them have returned to the San Joaquin Valley and are working as doctors, pharmacists and nurses.

The students will present their research findings on Thursday, Aug. 5 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the UCSF Fresno auditorium, located at 155 North Fresno Street in Fresno.

“We are the only program like this in the Valley, and one of only a few in the state,” continues Mrs. Robinson. “I get calls from people in the Bay Area and southern California asking if there is room in our program for their children to apply. I encourage any high school junior to consider applying to the Summer Biomedical Internship Program and having this unique training and experience.”

In addition to Clara Briley, students selected for the UCSF Fresno Summer Biomedical Internship Program include:

• Fayyaz Ahamed from University High School in Fresno
• Clara Briley from Yosemite High School in Oakhurst
• Ashmeet Goraya from Clovis West High School in Fresno
• Suhas Nareddy from Clovis North High School in Fresno
• Dustin Newman from El Diamante High School in Visalia
• Neha Pondicherry from Clovis North High School
• Tom Pritsky from Buchanan High School in Clovis
• Anindita Rajasekaran from El Diamante High School
• Mathias Tevendale from University High School
• David Wu from University High School

UCSF Fresno SBI is funded by the Fresno Regional Foundation, Cal-Viva Health and other contributors. For more information, please visit or email

UCSF is the nation’s leading university exclusively focused on health. Now celebrating the 150th anniversary of its founding as a medical college, UCSF is dedicated to transforming health worldwide through advanced biomedical research, graduate-level education in the life sciences and health professions, and excellence in patient care. It includes top-ranked graduate schools of dentistry, medicine, nursing and pharmacy; a graduate division with world-renowned programs in the biological sciences, a preeminent biomedical research enterprise and top-tier hospitals, UCSF Medical Center and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals. Please visit

UCSF Fresno, established in 1975 and now celebrating its 40th anniversary, plays a vital role in providing healthcare services to residents of the San Joaquin Valley, training medical professionals in the region, conducting research that addresses regional health issues and academically preparing a pipeline of students for careers in health and medicine. Please visit

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