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Nine From Fairfield County Named Regeneron Science Scholars

Area residents have been chosen as Regeneron Scholars
Area residents have been chosen as Regeneron Scholars Photo Credit: Society for Science

A total of eight of Connecticut’s best and brightest high school seniors, seven from Fairfield County, were among 300 chosen to compete with some of the nation’s top students in the Regeneron Science Talent Search competition.

The 300 scholars were chosen out of 1,760 applications that were received from 611 high schools across 49 states. The 300 hail from 193 American and international high schools, Puerto Rico, and two other countries.

Each of the scholars chosen and their schools will receive $2,000 for their school

According to the Society for Science, “scholars were chosen based on their exceptional research skills, commitment to academics, innovative thinking and promise as scientists.”

The talent search is designed to provide students with a national stage to present original research and “celebrates the hard work and discoveries of young scientists who are bringing a fresh perspective to significant global challenges.”

This year’s projects include topics from bioinformatics to public health and energy efficiency.

“The remarkable drive, creativity, and intellectual curiosity that each one of these scholars possess represent a hopeful outlook for our future and our collective wellbeing,” Maya Ajmera, President and CEO of Society for Science said, noting that not even the COVID-19 pandemic stopped them from completing their projects.

“At a time when many students’ educational experiences are being disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, I am incredibly humbled to see gifted young scientists and engineers eager to contribute fresh insights to solving the world’s most intractable problems,” she added.

Regeneron Scholars chosen from Fairfield County, along with their projects:

  • Kenneth Choi, Ridgefield High School. Project Title: Constructing General Hamiltonian Ground States on a Quantum Computer Using the Projected Cooling Sensor Algorithm;
  • Hannah Goldenberg, Greenwich High School. Project Title: Linking Continued Exposure to E-Cigarette Vapor Constituents with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease;
  • Alexander Patti, Greenwich High School. Project Title: Plant Growth Enhancement & Fungal Disease Suppression via Copper, Zinc, and Manganese Nanoparticle Foliar Sprays;
  • Alexandra Popescu, Joel Barlow High School. Project Title: Conserved Cellular Crosstalk to the Microvascular Niche Identified via Single-Cell Analysis of the Lung and Liver;
  • Sofia Pronina, Greenwich High School. Project Title: Carbon Nanotube Lab-on-Chip as a Rapid, Inexpensive, Lyme Disease Detection System;
  • Edgar Sosa, Greenwich High School. Project Title: Metal Oxide Nanoparticle Suppression of Coffee Rust Using an Alternaria, Stomata-Sporulating Model Fungus;
  • Joseph Winterlich, King School. Project Title: Antimicrobial Peptides and Antibiotics Produce Bactericidal and Bacteriostatic Effects on Wild-Type E. coli;
  • Jiefei Wu, Westminster School. Project Title: Biases in First and Second Moments of the Fourier Coefficients in One- and Two-Parameter Families of Elliptic Curves.
  • Sammy Hillenmeyer, The King School. Project Title: The Electrochemical Oxidation of Methane in a Fuel Cell Utilizing Carbon Sequestration. 

On Thursday, Jan. 21, 40 of the 300 scholars will be named Regeneron Science Talent Search finalists. From Wednesday, March 10 through Wednesday, March 17 all 40 finalists will compete for more than $1.8 million in awards provided by Regeneron.

“An exceptional group of student leaders and innovators comprise this year’s Regeneron Science Talent Search scholars, with an array of projects that demonstrate the power of science,” Hala Mirza, Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications and Citizenship at Regeneron said in a statement.

“We are honored to celebrate the next generation of young scientists and inventors who can elevate the STEM community and our broader society through their high-quality research and novel discoveries,” she added. "These are the inspiring problem solvers who will help address the current and future challenges facing our world.”

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