SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Liz McMillan, Sean Houghton, Glenn Rossman, Ignacio M. Llorente, Xenia von Wedel

News Feed Item

Painkiller and Lung Cancer Research Pays Off for California and Oregon Students With Siemens Competition Regional Win at California Institute of Technology

Young Scientists Gain Opportunity to Shine on National Stage

PASADENA, Calif., Nov. 10, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Months of dedication and hard work in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) paid off tonight for three students named National Finalists in the Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology, the nation's premier research competition for high school students. Research on a promising "painless painkiller" earned top honors and the $3,000 Individual scholarship for Raghav Tripathi of Portland, Oregon.  Research that could help improve the treatment and prevention of lung cancer won the $6,000 Team scholarship for Thomas Luh of San Jose, California, and Joy Jin of Palo Alto, California.

The students presented their research this weekend to a panel of judges from California Institute of Technology, host of the Region 1 Finals. They are now invited to present their work on a national stage at the National Finals in Washington, DC, December 1-4, 2012, where $500,000 in scholarships will be awarded, including two top prizes of $100,000.  The Siemens Competition, a signature program of the Siemens Foundation, is administered by the College Board.

"These students have invested time, energy and talent in tackling challenging scientific research at a young age," said Jeniffer Harper-Taylor, president of the Siemens Foundation.  "The recognition they have won today demonstrates that engagement in STEM is an investment well worth making."

The Winning Individual

Raghav Tripathi, a senior at Westview High School in Portland, Oregon, won the individual category and a $3,000 college scholarship for identifying a potential anti-inflammatory drug that may reduce the unintended side-effects and addiction associated with modern painkillers.

In his project, Design and Synthesis of Novel Fatty Acid Binding Protein Inhibitors for Analgesic and Anti-Inflammatory Effects through Increases in Endogenous Anandamide Concentrations, Raghav investigated a compound called anandamide which is naturally released in the body to slow pain. By increasing anandamide levels in the body, Raghav speculated he could potentially reduce the side-effects of foreign medications.

"This project was amazing in scale," said competition judge Dr. Bil Clemons, Assistant Professor of Biochemistry, Caltech Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering. "The body of work that Raghav presented, computationally identifying a molecule then making it followed by testing in the lab, is something that an accomplished graduate researcher would be proud of.  It is very reasonable to say that his work could lead to new pain medications."

Raghav was inspired to tackle the subject of painkillers when his mother broke her leg in a skiing accident and refused to take medication during her recovery. Wondering why she refused medication, he investigated and discovered that painkillers have countless unintended adverse effects.  The irony of relieving pain using medication that causes more pain motivated him to create a new form of painkillers. Raghav founded and serves as president of the Westview Pre-Medical Association – with over 150 members, the largest youth pre-medical society in Oregon.  Captain of the speech and debate team and a Varsity tennis player, this high school senior aspires to be a practicing neurologist.  Raghav won first place best in category in cellular and molecular biology at the 2012 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair.  He was mentored by Professor Iwao Ojima, Institute of Chemical Biology and Drug Discover, Stony Brook University.

The Winning Team

Thomas Luh, a junior at Leland High School in San Jose, California, and Joy Jin, a sophomore at Henry M. Gunn High School in Palo Alto, California, won the team category and will share a $6,000 scholarship for research that aims to improve the treatment and prevention of lung cancer, the leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. 

In their project, Hedgehog-Gli Signaling Promotes Cell Proliferation and Epithelial-to-Mesenchymal Transition in Lung Cancer, the team discovered the relationship between two proteins critical in the development and formation of cancer. This allowed them to interfere with the metastasis process to better understand it and possibly develop novel therapeutic strategies.

"Thomas and Joy have uncovered a potentially important mechanism of lung cancer metastasis," said competition judge Dr. Jim Heath, Elizabeth W. Gilloon Professor and Professor of Chemistry, California Institute of Technology. "Metastatic cancers are almost always deadly, and so it is hard to think of a more important problem in oncology. Their work has the potential to lead to new and effective therapies. They are a remarkably gifted team. "

Thomas was inspired to pursue his research by the loss of his grandfather, great-aunt and uncle to various cancers.  A junior, he is the founder and president of his school's Science National Honor Society chapter and won second place in the biochemistry/microbiology category at the Synopsys Silicon Valley Science and Technology Championship.  Thomas received a diploma in piano performance from The Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music at the age of 14 and performs music competitively.   He plans to study biology, biochemistry, biophysics and pre-medicine towards a career as a healthcare provider.

Joy took up competitive figure skating at the age of four and is a record-holder for the youngest individual to qualify for the U.S. National Figure Skating Championships, a feat she has accomplished four times.  She was a gold medalist in the 2012 U.S. National Figure Skating Solo Dance Championships and is a recipient of the 2013 U.S. Figure Skating Special Achievement Award.  Joy volunteers at the Vista Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired.  She is considering molecular biology, neuroscience, and cancer biology as college majors and aspires to be a surgeon or oncological researcher.

The team was mentored by Dr. Hu Li, Thoracic Oncology Laboratory, UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Regional Finalists

The remaining regional finalists each received a $1,000 scholarship.  Regional Finalists in the individual category were:

  • Paulomi Bhattacharya, Cupertino, California
  • Rohan Chandra, Fremont, California
  • Ashvin Swaminathan, Cupertino, California
  • Emily Tao, Placentia, California

Team Regional Finalists were:

  • Arjun Balasingam and Namrata Balasingam, San Jose, California
  • Zareen Choudhury, Sunnyvale, California, and Caroline Debs, Monte Sereno, California
  • Vivek Jayaram and Rachit Singh, Pullman, Washington
  • Brandon Kao, Placentia, California, and Tony Dong, Newbury Park, California

The Siemens Competition
Launched in 1998, the Siemens Competition is the nation's premier science research competition for high school students.  2,255 students registered to enter the Siemens Competition this year for a total 1,504 projects submitted.  323 students were named semifinalists and 93 were named regional finalists, representing 25 states.  Entries are judged at the regional level by esteemed scientists at six leading research universities which host the regional competitions:  California Institute of Technology, Carnegie Mellon University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Notre Dame and The University of Texas at Austin.

Follow us on the road to the Siemens Competition:  Follow us on Twitter @SFoundation (#SiemensComp) and like us on Facebook at SiemensFoundation.  Then visit www.siemens-foundation.org at 9:30am EST on December 4 for a live webcast of the National Finalist Awards Presentation.

The Siemens Foundation
The Siemens Foundation provides more than $7 million annually in support of educational initiatives in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in the United States. Its signature programs include the Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology, Siemens Awards for Advanced Placement, and The Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge, which encourages K-12 students to develop innovative green solutions for environmental issues.  By supporting outstanding students today, and recognizing the teachers and schools that inspire their excellence, the Foundation helps nurture tomorrow's scientists and engineers.  The Foundation's mission is based on the culture of innovation, research and educational support that is the hallmark of Siemens' U.S. companies and its parent company, Siemens AG.  For more information, visit www.siemens-foundation.org.

The College Board
The College Board is a mission-driven not-for-profit organization that connects students to college success and opportunity. Founded in 1900, the College Board was created to expand access to higher education. Today, the membership association is made up of more than 6,000 of the world's leading educational institutions and is dedicated to promoting excellence and equity in education. Each year, the College Board helps more than seven million students prepare for a successful transition to college through programs and services in college readiness and college success — including the SAT® and the Advanced Placement Program®. The organization also serves the education community through research and advocacy on behalf of students, educators and schools.  For further information, visit www.collegeboard.org.

SOURCE The Siemens Foundation

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
The BPM world is going through some evolution or changes where traditional business process management solutions really have nowhere to go in terms of development of the road map. In this demo at 15th Cloud Expo, Kyle Hansen, Director of Professional Services at AgilePoint, shows AgilePoint’s unique approach to dealing with this market circumstance by developing a rapid application composition or development framework.
SYS-CON Events announced today Isomorphic Software, the global leader in high-end, web-based business applications, will exhibit at SYS-CON's DevOps Summit 2015 New York, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Isomorphic Software is the global leader in high-end, web-based business applications. We develop, market, and support the SmartClient & Smart GWT HTML5/Ajax platform, combining the productivity and performance of traditional desktop software ...

ARMONK, N.Y., Nov. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --  IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that it is bringing a greater level of control, security and flexibility to cloud-based application development and delivery with a single-tenant version of Bluemix, IBM's

"BSQUARE is in the business of selling software solutions for smart connected devices. It's obvious that IoT has moved from being a technology to being a fundamental part of business, and in the last 18 months people have said let's figure out how to do it and let's put some focus on it, " explained Dave Wagstaff, VP & Chief Architect, at BSQUARE Corporation, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The major cloud platforms defy a simple, side-by-side analysis. Each of the major IaaS public-cloud platforms offers their own unique strengths and functionality. Options for on-site private cloud are diverse as well, and must be designed and deployed while taking existing legacy architecture and infrastructure into account. Then the reality is that most enterprises are embarking on a hybrid cloud strategy and programs. In this Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo (http://www.CloudComputingExpo.com...
"Our premise is Docker is not enough. That's not a bad thing - we actually love Docker. At ActiveState all our products are based on open source technology and Docker is an up-and-coming piece of open source technology," explained Bart Copeland, President & CEO of ActiveState Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit at Cloud Expo®, held Nov 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The Internet of Things is not new. Historically, smart businesses have used its basic concept of leveraging data to drive better decision making and have capitalized on those insights to realize additional revenue opportunities. So, what has changed to make the Internet of Things one of the hottest topics in tech? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Gray, Director, Embedded and Internet of Things, discussed the underlying factors that are driving the economics of intelligent systems. Discover ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Windstream, a leading provider of advanced network and cloud communications, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Windstream (Nasdaq: WIN), a FORTUNE 500 and S&P 500 company, is a leading provider of advanced network communications, including cloud computing and managed services, to businesses nationwide. The company also offers broadband, p...
The move in recent years to cloud computing services and architectures has added significant pace to the application development and deployment environment. When enterprise IT can spin up large computing instances in just minutes, developers can also design and deploy in small time frames that were unimaginable a few years ago. The consequent move toward lean, agile, and fast development leads to the need for the development and operations sides to work very closely together. Thus, DevOps become...
SYS-CON Media announced today that Aruna Ravichandran, VP of Marketing, Application Performance Management and DevOps at CA Technologies, has joined DevOps Journal’s authors. DevOps Journal is focused on this critical enterprise IT topic in the world of cloud computing. DevOps Journal brings valuable information to DevOps professionals who are transforming the way enterprise IT is done. Aruna's inaugural article "Four Essential Cultural Hacks for DevOps Newbies" discusses how to demonstrate the...
Verizon Enterprise Solutions is simplifying the cloud-purchasing experience for its clients, with the launch of Verizon Cloud Marketplace, a key foundational component of the company's robust ecosystem of enterprise-class technologies. The online storefront will initially feature pre-built cloud-based services from AppDynamics, Hitachi Data Systems, Juniper Networks, PfSense and Tervela. Available globally to enterprises using Verizon Cloud, Verizon Cloud Marketplace provides a one-stop shop fo...
AppZero has announced that its award-winning application migration software is now fully qualified within the Microsoft Azure Certified program. AppZero has undergone extensive technical evaluation with Microsoft Corp., earning its designation as Microsoft Azure Certified. As a result of AppZero's work with Microsoft, customers are able to easily find, purchase and deploy AppZero from the Azure Marketplace. With just a few clicks, users have an Azure-based solution for moving applications to the...
“In the past year we've seen a lot of stabilization of WebRTC. You can now use it in production with a far greater degree of certainty. A lot of the real developments in the past year have been in things like the data channel, which will enable a whole new type of application," explained Peter Dunkley, Technical Director at Acision, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that IDenticard will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. IDenticard™ is the security division of Brady Corp (NYSE: BRC), a $1.5 billion manufacturer of identification products. We have small-company values with the strength and stability of a major corporation. IDenticard offers local sales, support and service to our customers across the United States and Canada...
SYS-CON Events announced today that AIC, a leading provider of OEM/ODM server and storage solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. AIC is a leading provider of both standard OTS, off-the-shelf, and OEM/ODM server and storage solutions. With expert in-house design capabilities, validation, manufacturing and production, AIC's broad selection of products are highly flexible and are conf...