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These Fairfield County Students Named Regeneron Semifinalists

Area residents have been named as semifinalists in the prestigious Regeneron Science Talent Search.
Area residents have been named as semifinalists in the prestigious Regeneron Science Talent Search. Photo Credit: Society for Science

Nearly a dozen high school students in Connecticut were among the 300 that were chosen as semifinalists at this year’s prestigious Regeneron Science Talent Search (STS).

This year, approximately 1,800 students entered the Regeneron STS, where they “submit original research in critically important scientific fields of study.” The organization said that the search is “unique among high school competitions in the US and globally, (as the) Regeneron STS focuses on identifying, inspiring, and engaging the nation's most promising young scientists.”

Judges narrowed the field to just 300, based on their research skills, commitment to education, innovative thinking, and prospects as a scientist.

The nine students selected from Connecticut received $2,000 both for themselves and as well as their schools. From the pool of semifinalists, 40 will be chosen as finalists and invited to Washington, D.C in March for their final judgment, where they will compete for more than $1.8 million in awards during a weeklong competition.

According to the judges, in 2017, Regeneron became only the third sponsor of the Science Talent Search, increasing the overall awards distribution to better reward the best and brightest young minds.

“Through its 10-year, $100 million commitment, Regeneron nearly doubled the overall award distribution to $3.1 million annually, increasing the top award to $250,000 and doubling the awards for the top 300 scholars and their schools to $2,000 each to inspire more young people to engage in science," officials said.

"Congratulations to this year's 300 Regeneron Science Talent Search scholars for their remarkable contributions and discoveries in the STEM field," Christina Chan, Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications and Citizenship at Regeneron said. "We are honored to celebrate this new generation of problem solvers who have demonstrated the depth of their innovative thinking, commitment to continuous learning, and ability to tackle global challenges in creative ways."

This year's local Regeneron scholar semifinalists and their research projects include these Connecticut students:

  • Seyun Bang, Choate Rosemary Hall (New Haven County): "TFAM-DNA Complex, A Novel Digital Data Storage Model: A Histone-Like Architectural Role for the Stability of DNA;" 
  • Steven Blank, Greenwich High School (Fairfield County): "Design of a Rapid, Sensitive SARS-CoV-2 Nucleocapsid Luminescent Detection Card for COVID-19;" 
  • Cyrus Kenkare, Hopkins School (New Haven County): "MSRB2 in SARS-CoV-2 Infection: A Bioinformatic Analysis;"
  • Sachi Laumas, Greenwich Academy (Fairfield County): "The Genetic and Epigenetic Mechanisms by Which MYB Regulates MEP Fate Decision;" 
  • Bangzheng Li, Christian Heritage School (Fairfield County): "A Weak Ascending Chain Condition on Principal Ideals and New Classes of Atomic Domains;" 
  • Jerry Li, Guilford High School (New Haven County): "Optimizing Pool Size for Pooled Testing of SARS-CoV-2;" 
  • Ella Moore, Greenwich High School (Fairfield County): "Inhibition of Covid-19 Respiratory Complications via an R-954 Peptide Bradykinin 1 Receptor Antagonist;" 
  • Alexa Nakanishi, Greenwich High School (Fairfield County): "Multi-Component Fixation Tracking in Gaze Interaction for Rapid, Non-Invasive Diagnosis of Specific Learning Disorders;" 
  • Natalie Shell, Greenwich Academy (Fairfield County): "Developing and Testing Updated Geometric Structures to Model the Optical Properties of Spirulina, a Helical Photosynthetic Microorganism."

A complete list of winners can be found here.

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