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These Long Island Students Advance To Finals Of Regeneron Competition

Area residents have been named as finalists in the prestigious Regeneron Science Talent Search. Area residents have been named as finalists in the prestigious Regeneron Science Talent Search.
Area residents have been named as finalists in the prestigious Regeneron Science Talent Search. Photo Credit: Society for Science
The 40 finalists in the Regeneron Science Talent Search 2022 The 40 finalists in the Regeneron Science Talent Search 2022
The 40 finalists in the Regeneron Science Talent Search 2022 Photo Credit: Society for Science

Seven Long Island high school students were among 40 nationally that were chosen as finalists in the prestigious 2022 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 U.S. and globally, Regeneron STS focuses on identifying, inspiring, and engaging the nation's most promising young scientists.”

Judges narrowed the field to just 300 semifinalists, based on their research skills, commitment to education, innovative thinking, and prospects as a scientist. Now they are down to 40 finalists, including five from Nassau and two from Suffolk.

Forty-nine students on Long Island had been named semifinalists by Regeneron.

Officials noted that program alumni include "recipients of the world's most coveted science and math honors, including 13 Nobel Prizes and 22 MacArthur Foundation Fellowships, as well as the founders of many important science-based companies, including Regeneron."

This year's local Regeneron scholar finalists and their research projects include:

  • Ethan Chiu, Syosset High School: "Developing a Self-Formed Ectodermal Autonomous Multi-Zone Organoid Model Using Human Stem Cells to Examine the Effect of Doxycycline Treatment on Uveal Melanoma;"
  • Rohan Ghorta, Syosset High School: "Uncovering Motif Interactions from Convolutional Attention Networks for Regulatory Genomics;" 
  • Roberto Lopez, Brentwood High School: "Evaluating Phragmites australis Wrack Accumulation in a Long Island Salt Marsh Ecosystem and Assessing Its Effect on Carbon Sequestration, the Nitrogen Cycle, and Sediment Biota;" 
  • Christopher Luisi, John F. Kennedy High School: "How Dietary Restriction Affects the Athleticism, Metabolic Rate, and Lifespan of Drosophila melanogaster;" 
  • Desiree Rigaud, John F. Kennedy High School: "COVID-19 Induced Economic Stress: The Effect on Marital Functioning and Methods of Alleviating Financial Stress;" 
  • Amber Luo, Ward Melville High School: "RiboBayes: A Wavelet Transform-Based Computational Platform to Assess the Transcriptomic Distribution and Regulation of Ribosome Pause Sites in Ribosome Profiling Data;" 
  • Hailee Youn, Roslyn High School: "Why We Vote: How Positive Descriptive Norms and Holding a Minority Political Viewpoint Increase Citizens’ Intention and Responsibility to Vote." 

The finalists already received $2,000 for their schools by being named semifinalists. The finalists will head to Washington, D.C. in March for their final judgment. The finalists will be awarded at least $25,000 and the top 10 will earn between $40,000 and $250,000.

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.

Students typically spend weeks or months working closely with adult faculty members independently.

Finalists' projects span a diversity of STEM-related topics including targeting cancer via signaling pathways, developing a mobile application for stroke diagnosis using deep learning and computer vision and identifying an improved method for trace level arsenic quantification in water.

“We are excited to welcome an exceptional group of Regeneron Science Talent Search 2022 finalists and continue our tradition of supporting the next generation of scientific leaders," George D. Yancopoulos, co-founder, President, and Chief Scientific Officer of Regeneron, and a 1976 Science Talent Search finalist and winner said. "Competing in the Science Talent Search was life-changing for me, and helped give me the inspiration and confidence to devote myself to a life of using science to help fight disease. 

"We look forward to seeing how this year's finalists, with their demonstrated perseverance and creativity, continue to harness the power of science to address the many challenges facing society, and improve the lives of people around the world."

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