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New Jersey And Missouri Students Win Regional Siemens Competition At Massachusetts Institute Of Technology For Research On Stem Cell Aging And Bone Regeneration

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Nov. 3, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Months of dedication and hard work in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (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. Joshua Meier of Teaneck, N.J. earned the top honors and a $3,000 individual scholarship for research on rapid aging of artificially-generated stem cells to develop a new treatment for cancer. Research on using graphene as a substrate for stem cells derived from dental pulp to be used in bone regenerative therapy earned Aaron Argyres of Clayton, Mo. and Mingu Kim of Columbia, Mo. the $6,000 team scholarship.

The students presented their research this weekend to a panel of judges at Massachusetts Institute of Technology ( MIT), host of the Region Five Finals. They are now invited to present their work on a national stage at the National Finals in Washington, D.C., December 7-10, 2013, 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 incredible students have invested significant time and energy to advance research and exploration in critical fields," said David Etzwiler, CEO of the Siemens Foundation. "I commend the Region Five winners for their outstanding achievements and wish them luck in the next phase of the competition."

The Winning Individual

Joshua Meier, a senior at Bergen County Academies in Hackensack, N.J. won the individual category and a $3,000 college scholarship for his project entitled, Control of Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Aging by Modulation of Mitochondrial DNA Deletions.

For his project, Joshua developed techniques to control mitochondrial DNA deletion levels in order to slow the rapid aging symptoms of artificially-generated stem cells, which have the potential to revolutionize the field of regenerative medicine. Joshua applied this understanding to cancer by inducing deletion in cancer cells. This technique caused cancer cells to acquire aging symptoms and stop growing, suggesting a new clinically-applicable treatment for cancer.

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