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Four Syosset Students Named 2024 Regeneron Science Talent Scholars

Four Syosset High School Students have been named 2024 Regeneron Science Talent Search (Regeneron STS) Scholars. Congratulations to Syosset High School seniors Alex Chen, Griffin Hon, Vincent Huang, and Aryan Shah. The Regeneron STS is the nation’s oldest and most prestigious pre-college science competition.


These students were selected from 2,162 U.S. and international high school students who submitted original research in critically important scientific fields of study. They are among 300 students named Regeneron STS scholars and hope to be among 40 finalists named later this month. Each scholar will receive a $2,000 award with an additional $2,000 per scholar going to the high school to support STEM education. STS scholars are selected based on their exceptional research skills, commitment to academics, innovative thinking and promise as scientists as demonstrated through the submission of their original, independent research projects, essays, and recommendation.


“Alex, Griffin, Vincent, and Aryan’s incredible dedication to this research process have earned them this recognition for being the best of the best. We are so proud of all our research students for their hard work and commitment to the research journey,” said Syosset High School lead research facilitator Heather Hall. “None of what we accomplish here would be possible without all of the outstanding faculty and staff who work tirelessly to support our research students.”


Of these four Syosset seniors, three of them conducted scientific research, while one conducted a social science research project.


Alex Chen completed his project, “Evaluating the Neuroprotective Effects of Spearmint Oil in the Caenorhabditis elegans model of Alzheimer’s disease,” at Syosset High School under the direction of Dr. Mary Hendrickson and Ms. Olivia LaRocca. Alex tested the ability of spearmint oil to lower reactive oxygen species (ROS) and combat Alzheimer’s disease in C. elegans. He found that spearmint oil significantly decreased ROS levels in wild-type worms and increased survival rates in the Alzheimer’s disease model. Taken together, these results show that spearmint oil is a promising substance to explore for further research in aging and Alzheimer’s disease


Griffin Hon completed his project, “Evaluating Differential Nutritional Regulation of Stem Cell Plasticity,” at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory under the direction of Dr. Semir Beyaz. This novel case study underscored the nuanced distinctions in nutritional regulation in Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), which is essential for precision medicine. Arachidonic acid, found in high quantity in lean meats, was shown to have the potential to restore IBD healing capacity by returning differentiated cells to stemlike states. Griffin’s finding can lead to an economical and accessible dietary supplement opportunity for IBD patients.


Vincent Huang’s project, “An Advanced Computer App for Simulating White-beam Diffraction Laue Patterns in Modern X-ray Crystallography,” was completed under the direction of Dr. Michael Dudley and Dr. Balaji Raghothamachar at Stony Brook University. This computer application LauePt4 calculates the Laue pattern produced by a crystal, producing an exact simulation. In manufacturing computer chips, crystals are cut along not the physical surface, but along the internal lattice plane. Vincent hopes that with LauePt4, the process of identifying crystal orientations can be made more efficient, which has the potential to solve current chip shortages experienced by the economy.


Aryan Shah completed his project, “Analyzing the Effects of Different Types of Gerrymandering on Congressional Representation Across the 2010 Redistricting Cycle,” at Syosset High School under the direction Dr. Brett Klopp. His study compares the effects of two different types of gerrymandering, cracking and packing, on representation. Aryan found that packed districts generally had an increase in approval rating after gerrymandering, whereas it decreased for cracked districts. These findings can help to shine light on how legislative districts can be structured to best represent their constituents.


The 40 finalists in the competition, to be named on January 24, will undergo a rigorous judging process, interact with leading scientists, display their research for the public, meet with national leaders, and compete for more than $1.8 million in awards provided by Regeneron.