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Somers Senior Named Siemens Semifinalist

Alyssa Klee
Alyssa Klee Photo Credit: Contributed

Alyssa Klee's science research has gained national recognition.

Klee was named a Siemens semifinalist for her work on trying to reduce side effects for patients on immunotherapies.

The identification of the unknown binding site between two proteins, PD-L1 and B7-1, would benefit the countless weaker patients who cannot handle these side effects, Klee said.

At Somers, Klee is the founder and president of Somers Cancer Research, founder and president of the Math National Honor Society, Chem Club President, a member of the National Honor Society, a member of the Spanish National Honor Society, a member of the Spanish Club and on the Somers Varsity Volleyball team.

Klee's research found that several amino acids were mutated, creating a complete picture of the site of B7-1 on PD-L1. The FDA approved drug Atezolizumab was tested to determine which residues it binds to on PD-L1. With this information, new drugs can be produced blocking only one pathway instead of two, resulting in fewer immunotherapy side effects.

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