Priyanka Kumar, Hyunkee Sung and George Wang were among the 300 high school seniors nationwide to receive this prestigious honor. The semifinalists each receive $1,000, with the school receiving $3,000 for the three students’ achievement.
The 300 semifinalists were chosen from 1,794 applicants, representing 489 high schools in 45 states, the District of Columbia and seven international schools. Forty finalists will be selected from the pool of semifinalists on Jan. 22 to continue in the competition. Those finalists will participate in the Intel Science Talent Institute from March 6 to 12 in Washington, D.C., and compete for additional awards.
Priyanka’s project, “Macrophage Fusion on Nanopatterned Bulk Metallic Glass,” was completed in partnership with mentor Jagannath Padmanabhan at the Dr. Themis R. Kyriakides Laboratory at Yale University. Her research examined the immune system’s response to pathogens with the foreign body response. Her experiment has opened the door to using nanopatterned Bulk Metallic Glass as a substrate in implant design in order to engineer optimal cell response.
Hyunkee worked with Professor Daniel Ismailescu at Hofstra University on “Axis-Parallel Empty Boxes Among Points in a Square.” His research focused on the study of two specific cases pertaining to the problem of discovering the largest rectangle that can be drawn within the square that is parallel with the sides of the square and does not contain any of the said points within the rectangle. Through his research, Hyunkee was able to improve upon the results of two prominent mathematicians by decreasing the range in which the value of the large rectangle could be drawn.
George Wang worked with mentor Dr. Ante Tocilj, Ph.D., at the laboratory of Dr. Leemor Joshua-Tor at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory on his project, “Biochemical Analysis of the Human Origin Recognition Complex.” George studied the human origin recognition complex (hORC), which is a protein found in the cell that helps to start the process of DNA replication. Through his analysis, George was able to produce the first 3-D model of the hORC, an important step to further understand DNA replication in higher organisms and its potential for targeting the underlying replication mechanisms to treat cancer and other genetic diseases.