ORONO — Drew Brooks, a microbiology and music double major from Lyman, came to the University of Maine with a goal of becoming a medical doctor.

As a sophomore, Brooks already has been accepted to Tufts University School of Medicine through the Maine Track Early Assurance program.

Born of a partnership between Tufts and Maine Medical Center in Portland, Maine Track Early Assurance reserves a limited number of seats per year for sophomores from University of Maine System institutions, as well as at Bates, Bowdoin and Colby colleges.

The program, which was established in 2008 and accepted its first students in 2009, began with the hope that a significant number of its graduates will go on to practice medicine in Maine.

Typically, the program accepts five to seven Maine students — this year, there were six. All three UMaine students who applied were accepted. They are guaranteed spots at TUSM after they graduate from UMaine in 2019, if they maintain a 3.5 GPA or higher.

At UMaine, Brooks is researching fungal host-pathogen interaction under the guidance of microbiology professor Robert Wheeler. He has received a Frederick Radke Undergraduate Research Fellowship grant for his work with Candida albicans infections in zebrafish swim bladders.

Beyond academics, he is a member of the Newman Center’s Black Bear Catholic faith-based club, and has sung with several groups including University Singers, Black Bear Men’s Chorus and Oratorio Society.

“I had sung a little bit in high school, but had no professional vocal training,” Brooks says. “I really wanted to develop my voice and understand better the inner workings of music. Music is a means of enrichment and culture, not only for me as a student and recipient, but also for those that my music inspires.”