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New England Region Silver Medal Winners
“From Micro- to Nano- Patterning: Organizing the Extracellular Matrix and Directing Cell Adhesion”
Jessica Fields and Taylor Bernheim's bioengineering research is exciting preliminary work on the development of human tissue that may lead to possible processes for tissue regeneration. Motivated by a desire to enable tissue engineering, the team studied ways to induce extracellular matrix (ECM) self-assembly. The control of extra cellular matrix (ECM) organization and cell adhesion is critical to future advances in tissue engineering. Ms. Fields and Ms. Bernheim have developed promising new low-cost methods of directing nano-patterns of ECM assembly, and have begun to explore how different cell types respond to these patterns. Their research has potential implications for tissue engineering, medical implants and cancer diagnosis.
Ms. Bernheim, a junior, speaks fluent Spanish and Hebrew. She is a staff writer for Fresh Ink, a citywide teen supplement to The Jewish Week. She enjoys dancing and helped create and direct “Teddy’s Legacy,” a program that brings dance, music and poetry to the elderly. She plans to study biomedical engineering and journalism in college. The team’s mentors on the project were Dr. Miriam Rafailovich and Dr. Nadine Pernodet.
Ms. Fields, a senior, enjoys karate and constructing stone sculptures. She is the captain of Jericho High School's varsity fencing team and is editor-in-chief of Blue and Gold Literary Magazine. In 2004, she was an Intel International Science and Engineering Fair finalist and, in 2003, she was a Siemens Westinghouse Competition semi-finalist. A National Honor Society member, Ms. Fields plans to study biology or psychology in college.