15 Regeneron scholars honored in North Shore schools

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Allyson Weseley, coordinator of secondary research in the Roslyn School District, congratulates Roslyn High School students Jake Stoller, Andrew Goldberg, and William Borges on being named Regeneron Scholars. (Photo courtesy of the Roslyn School District)

Fifteen high school students across the North Shore have been named scholars in the nationwide Regeneron Science Talent Search, with Manhasset High School leading the pack.

The competition, formerly sponsored by Westinghouse and then Intel before its current sponsor, pharmaceutical company Regeneron, is run each year by the Society for Science and the Public, with the goal of finding solutions to the world’s challenges from budding young scientists.

From an initial 1,993 applications, 300 students across the country were named scholars in the 2020 contest, with 36 being from Long Island, and 15 of those students representing the North Shore.

Manhasset had the most scholars of any school on Long Island, with four. Thomas Elkins, coordinator for science, technology and health education in the Manhasset school district, said, “We’re very proud of all of our students who entered, and the fact that they did shows the reach of science in the Manhasset district.”

Of the 17 students who entered the contest in Manhasset, seniors Kevin Carratu, Kevin Gauld, Ella Wesson and Elizabeth Wu were named scholars, with their projects ranging from research into Parkinson’s disease to neural style transfers in pictures.

Roslyn High was one of three schools on Long Island, the others being John F. Kennedy High School in Bellmore and Jericho High School, to have three students named as scholars.

“I’m extremely proud of these students,” said Allyson Weseley, Roslyn’s coordinator of secondary research. “They’re not only hard-working and exceptionally bright, but they truly love science.”

Seniors Will Borges, Andrew Goldberg and Jake Stoller were all commended for their projects, which included exploring ways to remove nitrogen from wastewater, looking at brain activity in individuals with schizophrenia, and creating a more effective treatment for dedifferentiated liposarcoma, or severe cancer in connective tissues. 

Paul D. Schreiber High School in Port Washington, Herricks High School in New Hyde Park and North Shore High School in Glen Head each had two scholars apiece.

Schreiber seniors Prima Chainani and Jaime Levin were honored for projects that looked at drug deaths through income inequality across the country, and at anti-vaccination activity on Twitter in urban areas.

At Herricks, seniors Carrie Hsu and Bhav Patel’s projects explored ways of detecting cell growth and changes in neural connectivity in psychosis patients, while North Shore seniors Keaton Danseglio’s and Kyra McCreery’s projects looked at paternal stress between generations of flies, and cyclone and precipitation patterns in the northern Atlantic Ocean.

Districts in Great Neck and East Williston each had one scholar honored. Great Neck South High School senior Kallista Zhuang’s project involved looking at Alzheimer’s disease, while Karen Li, a senior at the Wheatley School in Old Westbury, tested interactions between carbohydrates and aromatic amino acids.

Each scholar and school will receive $2,000. Later this month, 40 of the 300 scholars will be named finalists and go to Washington, D.C., for the competition’s final phase in March, which will see the students compete for more than $1.8 million in awards from Regeneron.

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