Four high school students working on science-fair research projects with scientists at NYU’s Center for Genomics and Systems Biology (CGSB) are among the 300 national semifinalists for the international INTEL Science Talent Search competition for 2012. These high school students worked on a range of projects, including plant nutrient dynamics, protein structure prediction, nematode genomics, and bacterial spore development.
The Intel Science Talent Search (Intel STS) is the nation's most prestigious pre-college science competition. This year, Intel STS chose 300 students as semifinalists from 1,839 applicants from around the US. The CGSB-associated students are:
Angela Fan (Stuyvesant High School, NYC), who worked in the plant genomics and systems biology laboratory of Professor Gloria Coruzzi, studied root nutrient foraging. She applied a morphometric approach to quantifying the developmental plasticity space of different ecotypes of the model plant species Arabidopsis thaliana in laboratory and natural environments.
Rebecca Alford (Commack High School, Long Island), who worked in the computational biology group of Associate Professor Richard Bonneau, examined a novel structure-based approach to predicting the functional effects of mutations in membrane proteins using computational approaches.
Mimi Yen (Stuyvesant High School), who worked in the evolutionary genomics laboratory of Assistant Professor Matt Rockman, focused on characterizing the behavior and genetics of head plugging in the model nematode C. elegans, a worm and the first animal species whose genome was completely sequenced, making it a model organism for studying genetics.
Ian Grant (Stuyvesant High School), who worked in the bacterial genomics laboratory of Associate Professor Patrick Eichenberger, conducted a project that included the characterization of spore kinases in the bacterial species Bacillus subtilis.
Each semifinalist receives a $1,000 award from the Intel Foundation with an additional $1,000 going to his or her school. As a semifinalist, these students will be further judged to narrow the field to 40 finalists. The finalists are then invited to Washington, DC in March to undergo final judging, display their work to the public, meet with notable scientists, and compete for the top award of $100,000. The finalists will be announced on January 25, 2012.