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Seventeen Virginia high-schoolers, including many from the local area, were among 300 national and international students selected as semifinalists in the Society for Science and the Public’s 2020 Science Talent Search.

The Science Talent Search – sponsored since 2017 by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals – is the nation’s oldest and most prestigious science and math competition for high school seniors.

“This is a tremendous honor and speaks to the commitment of these students, and their teachers, to academic excellence and deeper learning,” said Virginia Superintendent of Public Instruction James Lane. “Their projects are great examples of what can happen when students direct their knowledge and critical thinking skills to addressing real-world issues and challenges.”

Among local students named semifinalists, and their project titles:

– Sabrina Cai, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science & Technology, “Investigating synthetic lethality for brain cancer therapy.”

– Avyuk Dixit, Thomas Jefferson, “Assessing Glaucoma Progression Using a Machine Learning Model Trained on Longitudinal Visual Field and Clinical Data.”

– Victoria Graf, Thomas Jefferson, “Determining Stimulus Selection Parameters for Treatment of Neurological Disorders Using Statistical Analysis of EEG Signal Entropy.”

– Ankit Gupta, Thomas Jefferson, “A Novel, High-Performance Mobile Application for Stroke Diagnosis using Deep Learning and Computer Vision.”

– Justin Hu, James Madison High School, “Using Self Assembled Monolayers for the Reliable Fabrication of Ion-selective, Membrane-Functionalized Biochemical Sensors with the Potential for Implantation.”

– Benjamin Kang, Thomas Jefferson, “All-pay auctions and applications to trade wars.”

– Neeyanth Kopparapu, Thomas Jefferson, “MRI Image Synthesis for the Diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease using Deep Learning.”

– Neha Pavuluru, Oakton High School, “The Investigation of 2D Monolayers for the Treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease.”

– Anjali Sardana, James Madison, “Maturation of Excitatory Synapses in the Juvenile Rodent Hippocampus Supports Spatial Navigation Ability in the Barnes Maze.”

– Evrim Ozcan, The Potomac School, “Novel Application of a Redox-probing Technique for the Non-invasive quantification of Oxidative Stress in Perspiration.”

– Katherine Plaza, The Potomac School, “Quantification and 3D-Rendering of Growth and Bleaching of Two Coral Species upon Long and Short-Term Treatment by Microplastics.”

On Jan. 22, 40 of the 300 scholars will be named Regeneron Science Talent Search finalists, and will compete for more than $1.8 million in awards.

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