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Westwood High School
Region One Silver Medal Winner
Dissipation of Geostrophic Oceanic Flows by Quadratic Bottom Boundary Layer Drag
Ayon Sen’s earth and atmospheric science engineering research expands the general knowledge of ocean mixing, which has implications for the global climate system. In his project, Mr. Sen studied the energy of geostrophic motions in the ocean that is dissipated by a variety of mechanisms, one of which is quadratic boundary layer drag at the ocean floor. He was mentored by Dr. Brian K. Arbic, Research Associate, and Dr. Robert B. Scott, Research Scientist, Jackson School of Geosciences, University of Texas.
Ayon Sen, a senior, is a member of Mu Alpha Theta, Junior Statesmen of America, and UIL Math. Math and science caught his interest when he read Fermat’s Enigma by Simon Singh. Mr. Sen comes from a family of scientists: his father is a professor of geophysics and his mother, now a computer scientist, holds a masters degree in zoology. He enjoys playing the piano and violin and loves to read modernist/surrealist fiction. Mr. Sen won first place in both the Debose National Piano Competition solo division 2006 and US International Duo Piano Competition 2007. He speaks Bengali and Spanish fluently. Mr. Sen wants to study mathematics or physics and would like to become a professor of mathematics.
Plano Senior High School
Region Two Silver Medal Winner
Mathematical Modeling of a Eukaryotic Circadian Clock
Alexander Huang’s biophysics research utilizes circadian-clock rhythms in bread mold to assist in the understanding of various biological cycles of living organisms. The project could ultimately produce better timing of delivering chemotherapy to the body when it is most receptive or even avoid jet-lag/fatigue induced by traveling across time zones. His mentors were Karen Shepherd, Science Department Director & AP Biology Teacher, Plano Senior High School; Professor Yi Liu, Department of Physiology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center; Professor Richard Haberman, Department of Mathematics, Southern Methodist University; and Professor Thomas Carr, Department of Mathematics, Southern Methodist University.
Alexander Huang, a senior, is a member of the Academic Decathlon A-team and President of the Math Club. This year, he was a national finalist in the US National Chemistry Olympiad. He also volunteers at the Plano City Juvenile Court with the Lead Prosecutor. Alex’s inspiration in science came from his father, a CalTech PhD in chemical engineering. His personal hero is Dr. Rong Hong, the first Chinese student in America who overcame all obstacles and persevered to graduate from Yale University, Mechanical Engineering in 1847. Mr. Huang is an accomplished musician and plays the violin and viola. He speaks Mandarin fluently. Mr. Huang wants to study chemical engineering and would like to become a research scientist or a doctor.
Shawnee Mission East High School
Prairie Village, Kansas
Region Three Silver Medal Winner
Cellular translation factors are required for the Virion Host Shutoff (Vhs) function of Herpes Simplex Virus: Use of siRNA-induced depletion of cellular factors to test involvement in Vhs activity
Nandini Sarma’s microbiology/virology research may reveal a possible way of preventing and curing Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) infections. Her research results could lead to the development of novel effective antiviral treatments or possible cures for HSV and other viral infections. She was mentored by Steve Appier, teacher, Shawnee Mission East High School; and Dr. G Sullivan Read, Associate Professor of Cell Biology and Biophysics, University of Missouri.
Nandini Sarma, a senior, is her class valedictorian. She is a three-time Intel International Science and Engineering Fair first place Grand Award winner (microbiology, 2005-2007) and has received numerous other science awards and honors. She has presented research at the London International Science Youth Forum and the Portugal Youth Science Forum. Fluent in Spanish, Ms. Sarma is a proficient pianist and earned fourth place at the International Baldwin Piano Competition. She was selected to be one of ten students from Kansas and Missouri to perform at the Truman Memorial Library. She is a tennis varsity letter winner and enjoys soccer. Ms. Sarma would like to study molecular biology, biochemistry or neuroscience and to become a science researcher or a doctor who plays piano, dances and is a guest chef on the side.
Pelham Memorial High School
Pelham, New York
Region Four Silver Medal Winner
Alternative Splicing Defects Linked to Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
Alicia Darnell’s molecular biology project can be potentially applicable to finding the cause of ALS, a poorly understood and lethal disease, as well as to its diagnosis and treatment. Her research focused on identifying alternative splicing defects that could play a role in the pathogenesis of ALS. Her mentor was Mrs. Irene Gruber, teacher of Science Research program at Pelham Memorial High School.
Alicia Darnell, a senior, is the editor of the student newspaper, Youth-In-Action, President of the Science Honors Society, Student Association Senator, and a member of both the National Honors Society (tutoring and community service) and the Environmental Science Club. She is a member of her school’s varsity lacrosse team and she has played the violin since she was in the third grade. She was inspired to research Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis because she is interested in molecular biology and very motivated by the potential clinical applications of research on ALS. She hopes to study biology and neuroscience, and her dream job would be to combine scientific research applicable to medicine and epidemiology with journalism.
Freedom High School
Region Five Silver Medal Winner
Bone growth in zebrafish fins occurs via multiple pulses of cell proliferation
Ms. Jain’s project may potentially lead to a better understanding of human bone growth and associated syndromes such as Oculodentodigital dysplasia.
Ms. Jain, a senior, is a member of the Endocrine Society, American Physiological Society, and American Ceramic Society among others. Her mother's dedication to the profession of medicine spearked her interest for the clinical aspect of research while her father's global research work raised her awareness about the importance of science. Ms. Jain’s awards include first prize in the Undergraduate Research Poster Contest-National Educators Workshop and first place Grand Award in Animal Sciences Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (2007). Ms. Jain enjoys Indian classical/modern dance, soccer, skiing, and jewelry making. She plans to study biology and math and aspires to lead a lab focused on those disciplines.
Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology
Region Six Silver Medal Winner
Cayley graphs formed by conjugate generating sets of S_n.
Mr. Steinhardt’s mathematics project on algebraic graph theory can potentially help build custom-designed, highly efficient computer networks. His mentor was Dr. John C. Dell, Physics Teacher, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology.
Jacob Steinhardt, a senior, is a member of the Boy Scouts, the Senior Computer team, Varsity Math team, and Physics team. He was a winner of the 2007 USA Math Olympiad. Mr. Steinhardt’s ninth grade science teacher was the first to encourage him to pursue science and math seriously. His hobbies include playing bridge, chess, soccer, and the piano. Jacob doesn’t have a specific personal hero. Instead, he emulates the good qualities of everyone he meets. Mr. Steinhardt plans to study mathematics and to become a math professor.
Flintridge Preparatory School
La Cañada Flintridge, California
Westridge School for Girls
Region One Silver Medal Winners
Transformation of Herceptin (Trastuzumab) Sensitive SKBR3 Breast Tumor Cells into Herceptin Resistant Cells by Transfection with t-Darpp DNA
The team’s bioengineering project could have potential implications in breast cancer research. The project demonstrates that breast cancer patients with Her-2 oncogene positive tumor cells should be closely monitored for t-Darpp levels as elevated levels of this protein can induce Herceptin resistance. Their mentors were Dr. Susan Kane, Associate Director and Long Gu, Research Associate, Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope; as well as Laura Berger, Senior Class Anatomy and Physiology Professor, Flintridge Preparatory School.
Cousins Sarah Waliany and Shelina Kurwa were inspired to pursue their research when the mothers of several friends were diagnosed with breast cancer. They spent close to two years working on this research topic. The cousins are veterans of the Siemens Competition, having placed as semifinalists two years ago for attempting to infuse lettuce with Vitamin C, known for its anti-cancer properties.
Sarah Waliany, a junior and her high school’s valedictorian, has participated in numerous science fairs, winning first place in Pharmacology at the Los Angeles County Fair. For the past two years she has interned at the City of Hope cancer research center. She is the editor of her school newspaper and Founder and Chief Editor of Current Sciences Journal. She aspires to become a physician.
Shelina Kurwa, a senior, is a MENSA member and Cum Laude student. She enjoys singing and is an avid archer. In 2006, after winning a spot as guest health editor in a national contest, she was published in Seventeen Magazine. She has a story idea under consideration for a television pilot by the BBC, having won a Best TV story contest in the United Kingdom. Ms. Kurwa hopes to become a history of science professor.
Allen High School
John Y. Chen
Plano East Senior High School
Region Two Silver Medal Winners
Controlled Release of Nitric Oxide from Electrospun Biodegradable Fibers
The team’s chemistry project researched producing materials that would release Nitric Oxide (NO) in a controlled manner and would provide a means to regulate physiological processes and preserve organs and tissues. Their research attempts to create electrospun biodegradable fibers that would release NO in a controlled manner so organs and severed limbs lost in accidents or war zones can be preserved and maintained. Their mentors were Dr. Kenneth Balkus, Jr., Professor of Chemistry, University of Texas at Dallas and Harvey Liu, Grad Student, University of Texas at Dallas
Camden Miller, a junior, is a member of the National Honor Society, National Spanish Honor Society, Eco Club, and America’s Pride Club. She became interested in science at a young age when her parents bought her science activity kits for holidays. Ms. Miller took 2nd Place in the ExxonMobil Texas Science and Engineering Fair 2007, 1st place in 2006, 2nd Place in the Dallas Regional Science Fair 2007, 1st Place in 2006, and was a Finalist in the Discovery Channel Young Scientist Challenge. She loves music and has more than ten years of musical training. Ms. Miller enjoys cooking, and arts and crafts. She aspires to be a medical research scientist while continuing to play clarinet with a performance group.
John Chen, a junior, is a member of the National Honor Society, Math club, and UT Dallas Chemistry Research lab. He first became interested in science during a Baylor Institute Internship and Research with Dr. S.J. Phillips. John’s father, an engineer, also piqued his interest in science by taking him to different science museums in the US, Europe, and Asia during family vacations. Aside from science, Mr. Chen enjoys swimming, violin, and playing chess. He won the Solo and Ensemble Exemplary Musician Award 2005-2006. He speaks Mandarin and Spanish fluently. Mr. Chen hopes to become a diplomat or foreign language interpreter.
Adams High School
Rochester Hills, Michigan
Troy High School, Troy, Michigan
Region Three Silver Medal Winners
Inhibition of VEGF decreases photodynamic therapy-induced angiogenesis, and reduces tumor regrowth of nude mice bearing U87 human glioma
Mr. Ding and Mr. Jiang’s biology project examines the efficacy of photodynamic therapy (PDT) for brain tumors. Their research may lead to combination therapies that can help prevent tumor regrowth after PDT. Their mentors were Dr. Michael Chopp, Vice Chairman, Dr. Xuepeng Zhang, Research Instructor, Dr. Xuguang Zheng, Research Fellow, and Mark Katakowski, Research Fellow, Department of Neurology, Henry Ford Health Science Center.
Christopher Ding, a senior, is a member of Key Club International, National Honor Society, German Club, and Science Olympiad. He plays the piano and clarinet and has performed with Rochester Adams Wind Ensemble Band and The Metropolitan Youth Symphony. He became interested in different cancer therapies after volunteering at the Neurology Department at Henry Ford Health Systems. Fluent in Chinese, Mr. Ding would like to study international relations, environmental science or pre-law. His dream job is to become a diplomat.
James Jiang, a freshman, is a member of SADD, Club Med, Chinese Club and Biology Competition. He is also a pianist, having attained a superior rating in solo piano at a 2007 National Federation Festivals event. Mr. Jiang’s personal hero is Kobe Bryant. He enjoys track, basketball, running and reading, and aspires to become a surgeon.
Plainview-Old Bethpage John F. Kennedy High School
Plainview, New York
Region Four Silver Medal Winners
FtsZ Inhibitors as Novel Chemotherapeutic Agents for Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis
The team’s chemistry research offers potential medicinal alternatives to current tuberculosis treatments. Their mentors were Mary Lou O’Donnell, High School Research Teacher/Coordinator, Plainview-Old Bethpage JFK High School; Dr. Iwao Ojima, Distinguished Professor and Director for the Institute of Chemical Biology and Drug Discovery, Chemistry Department, Kunal Kumar, Graduate Student, Dr. Bela Ruzsicska, Director of the Analytical Instrumentation Laboratory and Ilaria Zanardi, Senior Research Support Specialist, SUNY Stony Brook.
Janelle Schlossberger, a senior, is the President of the Science Honor Society, member of Science Olympiad, editor-in-chief of the district-wide literary and art magazine, and a member of the French Honor Society and National Honor Society. Ms. Schlossberger was a finalist in the DuPont Challenge Science Essay Competition. She has played the piano for 12 years and the violin for 10 years. She is proficient in French and plans to study physics in college.
Amanda Marinoff, a senior, is the editor-in-chief of her school newspaper and a member of the National Honor Society, French Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society, Science Olympiads and Increase the Peace. She became interested in science when she conducted a science project in 6th grade. Ms. Marinoff volunteers at an after-school program for autistic children. Her personal hero is Bono, the lead singer of U2, because he uses his influence as a rock start to make the world a better place. Ms. Marinoff plans to study biology and French in college and aspires to become a doctor with the ‘Doctors without Borders’.
Independence Home School
Ehrhardt Home School
Hamilton Square, New Jersey
Independent Home School
Region Five Silver Medal Winners
Design Of A Novel Video System To Assure Safe Cooking Of Hamburgers In Commercial Kitchens
The team’s project may potentially lead to greater food safety from E. coli in commercial kitchens and the fast-food industry, ensuring that every cooked burger is safe to eat. Ms. Lang, a junior, is a Girl Scout and member of Habitat for Humanity. She became interested in science in kindergarten after completing her first research project on how long it takes to make a muscle stronger. Both parents have made an active effort to encourage her interest in science by organizing trips to science museums, subscribing to science magazines, and incorporating science into the home school curriculum. Ms. Lang enjoys ballet and dancing as well as writing poetry, running, reading, and mock trials. She sings for a Christian worship band every week. Ms. Lang aspires to become an attorney and dreams of attending Harvard law school. Ms. Ehrhardt, a junior, is also a Girl Scout, a member of the Joyful Noise Children’s Choir, and the mock trial team. Food science is of interest to Ms. Ehrhardt because her mother, a nuclear engineer, has a compromised immune system and can be affected by food poisoning and food recalls. She was a ninth grade champion of the eCYBERMISSION competition and was awarded first runner up in the Mercer Science and Engineering Fair (2007). Ms. Ehrhardt enjoys computers and performing arts. She aspires to become part of a multidisciplinary team of scientists in a university, government, or industrial setting.
Ms. Collipp, a junior, is a member of 4H and the Hulmville Soccer Club. A friend piqued her interest in science by inviting her to participate in the eCYBERMISSION competition. Ms. Collipp was inspired to research food science after working in a fast food restaurant and noticing that probes were used to spot check only a few of the burgers that were sold. As a result, she was inspired to create a system where every burger served could be tested. Ms. Collipp enjoys playing soccer, the piano, signing, and reading. She plans to study elementary education and become a teacher.
William G. Enloe High School
Raleigh, North Carolina
Region Six Silver Medal Winners
A Computational Model for Translational Efficiency and Frameshifts in Escherichia coli Using a Genetic Signal Processing Approach
The team’s genetic research may allow scientists to quickly determine the translational efficiency of a given protein sequence, which can in turn help increase production of biologically and medically-important recombinant or manmade proteins. The project can potentially provide a cost-effective method of producing useful proteins on a commercially-viable scale. The team was mentored by Dr. Donald L Bitzer, Distinguished University Research Professor, North Carolina State University and Dr. Anne-Marie Stomp, Assistant Professor of Forestry at NCSU.
Vivek Bhattacharya, a senior, is the class valedectorian. He is a member of the National Honor Society, Red Cross Club, Key Club, Science Olympiad, and Science Bowl. He has won numerous science awards, including 11 medals (five gold) at the state and regional Science Olympiads. Mr. Bhattacharya plays the violin and composes music and is also a basketball player. He credits his parents for piquing his interest in science: his mother specializes in econometrics and his father works at IBM. Mr. Bhattacharya learned to read and write before he was two. In ninth grade he founded the National Enloe Mathematical Olympiad, a math competition designed for middle school students. Mr. Bhattacharya would like to study economics and physics and to become chief economist at Goldman Sachs or Chairman of the Federal Reserve.
Hao Lian, a senior, volunteers with ScienceDays, an elementary tutoring program. He has participated in the Science Olympiad and the National Economic Challenge (2nd place). Fluent in Mandarin Chinese, Mr. Lian plays the piano and was the district winner of the National Piano Playing Auditions. Mr. Lian’s dream job is starting an indie software company that changes the world. His interest in science stems from his parents, a statistian and a software engineer. He would like to study computer science in college.
Daniel Vitek, a junior, is on the board of Enloe Science Olympiad and is one of the team organizers for the Science Bowl. He regularly leads his school’s teams in mathematics competitions. He has received numerous awards in State Mathcounts, ARML and other science competitions. Fluent in Spanish, Mr. Vitek has played classical piano for eight years and cello for five. He holds the rank of Life Scout and is currently Senior Patrol Leader of Boy Scouts.
Mr. Vitek would like to become a mathematician.