Katie has a deeply personal connection to her research. Her mother has struggled with Lyme disease for the past nine years. Similarly to Lyme disease, Leishmaniasis is transferred to humans through an insect bite. Katie's hope was to help towards the goal of developing an effective vaccine. Katie placed first in her high school science fair, earned second place in the regional science fair, and is the winner of a Student Athlete award. She is a member of Science Honor and Leadership Honor Societies and captain of her high school cheer team. She plans to study psychology and nursing in college and is considering becoming a psychologist or nurse.
The team's mentor was Dr. Sreenivas Gannavaram, Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, FDA.
The remaining regional finalists each received a $1,000 scholarship. Regional Finalists in the individual category were:
- Amanpreet Kandola, Richmond Hill, New York
- Jongyoon Lee, Little Neck, New York
- Aashna Mago, Newtown, Pennsylvania
- Lijia Xie, Lansdale, Pennsylvania
- Esther Huang and Anna Huang, Houston, Texas
- Allen Lee and Jason Lee, Short Hills, New Jersey, and David Lu, Henrico, Virginia
- George Qi and Vinciane Chen, Austin, Texas, and Robert Tung, Plano, Texas
- Kimberley Yu and Phillip Yu, Plano, Texas
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.