Two Seniors Named Regeneron Scholars

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Society for Science and the Public Society for Science has announced the top 300 scholars in the Regeneron Science Talent Search 2020, the nation’s oldest and most prestigious science and math competition for high school seniors. High School West’s Stephanie Lin and High School East’s Caitlin Wilkinson have both been selected as Regeneron scholars.

Stephanie’s project is “Convolutional Neural Network of Dynamic Contrast Enhanced MRI Detects Axillary Lymph Node Metastasis in Breast Cancer Patients Pre Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy.” Caitlin research focused on “Rates and Traits: The Potential for Utilizing Above-ground Plant Traits to Predict Denitrification in Long Island Salt Marshes.”

Caitlin was shocked by the news of her win. “When we were all together in the research room for the announcement, I was expecting someone else's name to be called out, and I felt like the rug was pulled out from under my feet when Ms. Zeitlin looked at me. I am honored and thankful for the recognition.”

Maria Zeitlin, High School East research coordinator, said, “Caitlin’s project exemplifies citizen science by analyzing local Long Island salt marshes. I am thrilled that Caitlin was inspired to pursue her passion for environmental science and contribute toward an understanding of how to mitigate human impact on the marine environment. She is very deserving of this recognition.”

Dr. Joanne Figueiredo, High School West’s research coordinator, spoke about her student’s work. “Stephanie has been a dedicated and tenacious science research student,” she said. “She is a passionate young scientist who isn’t afraid to chart new territory. The future is bright because of talented young people like Stephanie.”

Stephanie was also surprised when she heard the announcement that she was named a Regeneron Scholar. “I had put the announcement completely out of my mind and was so happy to hear that I was chosen,” she said. “I am honored to be part of this cohort of students who are the next generation of leaders in industry.”

The Regeneron Science Talent Search scholars were selected from 1,993 applications received from 659 high schools across 49 states. Scholars were chosen based on their exceptional research skills, commitment to academics, innovative thinking and promise as scientists. The top 40 finalists will be announced on Jan. 22. The 300 scholars and their schools will be awarded $2,000 each.