Ambika Grover, Neel Moudgal, Ishika Nag, Lavanya Natarajan and Siddhu Pachipala vying for a $250,000 top prize
Five Indian American students are among 40 finalists in the Regeneron Science Talent Search, America’s oldest and most prestigious science and math competition for high school seniors, vying for over $1.8 million in prizes.
Finalists were selected by a national jury of professional scientists from a pool of 300 scholars from 34 schools across 14 states, based on their projects’ scientific rigor and their potential to become world-changing scientific leaders, according to a press release from Regeneron Pharmaceuticals and Society for Science.
Read: Three Indian Americans among top ten in Regeneron Science Talent Search (March 24, 2022)
The 2023 finalists’ research projects showcase their breadth of knowledge, their commitment to addressing issues important to modern society, and their passion for STEM, the release said.
Five Indian American students —Ambika Grover from Connecticut, Neel Moudgal from Michigan, Ishika Nag and Lavanya Natarajan from Florida and Siddhu Pachipala from Texas — will now compete with other finalists for a top prize of $250,000.
Grover of Greenwich High School, Greenwich, Connecticut, had a project titled: Design of a Novel, Dual-Functioning, Tissue Plasminogen Activator and Factor XI-Inhibiting Anticoagulant Therapeutic for Rapid Ischemic Stroke Treatment.
Moudgal of Saline High School, Saline, Michigan, had a project titled: Using Unassigned NMR Chemical Shifts To Model RNA Secondary Structure.
Nag of Oviedo High School, Oviedo, Florida, had a project titled: Development of an Engineered Face Mask With Optimized Nanoparticle Layering for Filtration of Air Pollutants and Viral Pathogens.
Read: 70 Indian Americans among Regeneron Science Talent Search toppers (January 7, 2022)
Lavanya Natarajan of Viera High School, Viera, Florida had a project titled: A Prescriptive IoT Solution To Detect and Mitigate Fugitive Methane Gas in Landfills via a Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition System.
Siddhu Pachipala of The Woodlands College Park High School, The Woodlands, Texas had a project titled: SuiSensor: A Novel, Low-Cost Machine Learning System for Real-Time Suicide Risk Identification and Treatment Optimization via Computational Linguistics.
“We are thrilled to welcome this inspiring and highly talented class of Regeneron Science Talent Search finalists,” said Maya Ajmera, President and CEO, Society for Science and Executive Publisher, Science News.
“I am certain these extraordinary students will be following in the footsteps of our many accomplished alumni who are the forefront of breakthrough discoveries. The 2023 finalists will be using their leadership, intellect, creativity and STEM skills to solve our world’s most intractable challenges.”
Finalists will participate in a week-long competition in March 2023, during which they will undergo a rigorous judging process that goes beyond their own research to encompass other scientific disciplines and compete for more than $1.8 million in awards.
They will also have an opportunity to interact with leading scientists and share their research during a virtual “Public Day” event on March 12.
Read: Four Indian American teens among top winners in 2021 Regeneron Science Talent Search (March 20, 2021)
The top 10 Regeneron Science Talent Search 2023 winners will be announced during an awards ceremony on March 14, streamed live from Washington, DC.
In total, more than $3 million in awards will be distributed throughout the Regeneron Science Talent Search. The finalists are each awarded at least $25,000, and the top 10 awards range from $40,000 to $250,000.
Finalists may use their award prize money solely for educational purposes and can choose for those funds to be released directly to their college or university.
The top 300 scholars, each of whom receive $2,000, may use their awards as they see fit; each of their schools are also awarded $2,000 to support math and science programs, a critical investment toward their future in STEM, and our country’s future as a hub of innovation and progress.
Multiple students chose to explore research topics on climate change; for instance, one studied the environmental potential of human-made materials such as cement to help reduce emissions, and another evaluated the correlation between air pollution and Covid-19 cases, according to the release.
Some students invented health monitoring devices, like a color-changing sensor to help detect the presence of illicit drugs in drinks; others explored topics related to space, including a new method to test for the existence of large populations of black holes.
Read: Budding Indian-origin scientists win big at the Regeneron Science Talent Search (January 22, 2023)
Other finalists dove into social and political issues, including an examination of media coverage about violent crimes to understand its impact on societal perceptions, and an evaluation of linguistic features in writing to predict suicide risk.
“Congratulations to an exceptional group of Regeneron Science Talent Search 2023 finalists,” said George D. Yancopoulos, M.D., Ph.D., Co-founder, President and Chief Scientific Officer of Regeneron, and a 1976 Science Talent Search finalist and top winner.
“Inspiring and equipping the brightest minds to take on the world’s most pressing issues is one of the most important ways we can ensure the scientific advancements necessary to better our society. We know the future is bright for these young scientists and are excited to see the positive impact they will make.”