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Four New York Students Win Regional Siemens Competition At Carnegie Mellon University For Research On Personalized Cancer Treatment And Ozone Resistance

"The team designed an elegant study – conducted completely in a high school lab – to understand how plants defend themselves against environmental stresses such as air pollution. This work addresses a fundamental environmental problem and its potential effect on our future food supply," said Dr. Brooke McCartney, associate professor, Department of Biological Science, Carnegie Mellon University. "These students exhibited remarkable creativity, persistence and critical thinking ability that represents the best of what science education can inspire."

Priyanka's parents' work as a cell biologist and a gastroenterologist sparked her interest in science, as well as her aspiration to become an emergency room physician. She is a recipient of the George Eastman Young Leaders Award and Chair of the Cabaret Night Business Committee.

Zainab is a member of the National Honor Society, a Euro Challenge Semifinalist, recipient of the United States Army Award, and the second-place winner of the Long Island Science and Engineering Fair. In her free time, she volunteers at the Franklin Early Childhood Center and plays Varsity Lacrosse. Zainab plans to pursue a career in engineering.

JiaWen has a longstanding interest in biomedical sciences and aspires to become a physician. Captain of her school's fencing team, she is also a member of the National Honor Society, Foreign Language Honor Society, chorus, and orchestra.

The team's mentor is Dr. Terrence Bissoondial, a biological research teacher at George W. Hewlett High School. A 2010 Siemens Teachers as Researchers (STARs) fellow, Terrence coached the 2012 Siemens Competition National Finals winning team, also from George W. Hewlett High School.

Regional FinalistsThe remaining regional finalists each received a $1,000 scholarship. 

Regional Finalists in the individual category were:
  • Surin Ahn, Mamaroneck High School, Mamaroneck, N.Y.
  • Alexandra Lagrassa, The Bronx High School of Science, Bronx, N.Y.
  • Michael Lim, Stuyvesant High School, New York, N.Y.
  • Saranya Vijayakumar, Riverdale Country School, Bronx, N.Y.

Team Regional Finalists were:
  • Sahil Abbi, Herricks High School, New Hyde Park, N.Y.; Connor Abbott, Hopkins School, New Haven, Conn.; Arjun Kapoor, The Wheatley School, Old Westbury, N.Y.
  • Kelly Chen, Stuyvesant High School, New York, N.Y.; Impreet Singh, Francis Lewis High School, Fresh Meadows, N.Y.
  • Michael Green, George W. Hewlett High School, Hewlett, N.Y.; Ayman Halder, George W. Hewlett High School, Hewlett, N.Y.; Stephen Ng, George W. Hewlett High School, Hewlett, N.Y.
  • Margarita Ren, Hunter College High School, New York, N.Y.; Yinge Zhao, The Dalton School, New York, N.Y.

The Siemens CompetitionLaunched in 1998, the Siemens Competition is the nation's premier science research competition for high school students.  A record 2,440 students registered for this year's competition and a total of 1,599 projects were submitted for consideration.  Three hundred thirty-one students were named Semifinalists and 100 were named Regional Finalists.  Entries are judged at the regional level by esteemed scientists at six leading research universities that 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.

For news and announcements about the Regional Competitions and the National Finals, follow us on Twitter @SFoundation (#SiemensComp) and like us on Facebook at SiemensFoundation. A live webcast of the National Finalist Awards Presentation will also be available online at 9:30am EST on December 10:

The Siemens FoundationThe 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, a STEM research competition for high school students, Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge, a sustainability challenge which encourages K-12 students to develop innovative green solutions for environmental issues and the Siemens STEM Academy, a national educator professional development program designed to support educators in their efforts to foster student achievement in STEM fields. By supporting outstanding students and educators today, and recognizing the mentors and schools that inspire STEM educational 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. For further information, visit or follow @sfoundation.

The College BoardThe 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

Video and photos of winners available on request.

SOURCE Siemens Foundation

Copyright 2011 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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