Selected Few Student Projects from previous years

Our students undertook remarkable projects last year; here are some key highlights of their academic endeavors.
Atrial Septal Defect

Kirthi Gopinath
(Mission San Jose High School)

Congenital Heart Defects (CDHs) are present at birth and affect the structure of a baby's heart as well as its function. One specific CDH, Atrial Septal Defect (ASD), causes a hole to form in the septum that divides the right and left atria. This hole causes irregular blood flow by allowing blood from the left atrium to flow to the right atrium

TERT Shelterin Complex

Neerja Bathla
(Keystone School)

Melanoma accounts for 1.7% of global cancer diagnoses and is the fifth most common cancer in the USIt has risen in developed countries with a majorly fair-skinned population.This project studies the hypothesis that telomerase rever transcriptase (TERT) and shelterin complex (TERF1/2) gene mutations will be present in Melanoma patients, and that the presence of these mutations will lead to a poorer prognosis in melanoma patients.

Science Fair Winner
Circulating Tumor Cells

Iman Ali
(Galaxy International School)

Metastasis, the process by which cancer spreads, represents one of the most perilous aspects of the disease. Coined by Jean Claude Recamier in 1829, metastasis serves as the defining characteristic of a malignant tumor Circulating tumor cells (CTCs), also referred to as circulating cancer cells, play a pivotal role in this phenomenon.

Acute Myeloid Leukemia

Chance White
(Saint Ignatius College Preparatory)

Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) is an aggressive cancer of the blood and bone marrow which inhibits normal hematological development. The disease is characterized by abnormal proliferation of premature white blood cells known as myeloid cells. The uncontrolled colonial expansion of myeloid cells inhibits healthy red blood cell division in patients.

Hepatitis B Virus-Associated Hepatocellular Carcinoma

Weiran Yu
(Ambassador High School)

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) constitutes the predominant form of primary liver cancer, accounting for 75-90% of cases, while intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (ICC) represents a significant portion of other cancer subtypes. The incidence of liver cancer is the fifth most common among men and the ninth most common among women worldwide. Recognized risk factors for HCC include chronic infections with hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV)

Triple Negative Breast Cancer

Sadhika Pendyala
(The Quarry Lane School)

Triple Negative Breast Cancer is unique because of its lack of HER2, estrogen, and progesterone receptors present in tumors. This limitation greatly reduces treatment options because conventional therapeutic strategies, such as hormone-based treatments and inhibitors, are inefficient and lack efficacy. The identification of distinct TNBC subtypes, such as those associated with BRCA mutations or dysregulated PI3K/AKT pathways, opens avenues for personalized treatments.

Sweat Allergy

MinJi Seo
(Harbin Wanbang School)

Sweating is a vital bodily function for temperature regulation. When body temperature rises, the hypothalamus signals eccrine sweat glands to release water, cooling the body. These glands excrete a liquid mixture containing water, sodium, potassium, amino acids, and more. This fluid, known as sweat, aids temperature reduction through evaporative cooling.

Hemophilia: Genetic Mutation

Matthew Liang
(Troy High School)

Classic Hemophilia, also know as Hemophilia A, is a congenital, inherited, X-linked recessive disease caused by an F8 gene mutation located at Xq28, leading to a deficiency of clotting factor 8. This type of hemophilia is five times more common than Hemophilia B, affecting approximately 1 in every 5,000 babies born

Phenylketonuria (PKU)

Francesca Chevarría Gómez
(Max Uhle Peruvian-German School)

Phenylketonuria (PKU) is an autosomal recessive genetic disorder, which means, two copies of the mutation must be present for the disease to develop. PKU can be caused by 400 different known variants in the PAH gene. The phenylalanine hydroxylase (PAH) enzyme performs the breakdown of the amino acid phenylalanine (phe) into tyrosine (Tyr), which is required by the body to produce stress neurotransmitters such as epinephrine, norepinephrine and dopamine.

Parkinson’s Disease: Challenges & Progress

Annika Thakur
(Oak Park High School)

Parkinson's Disease is the second most common neurological disorder after Alzheimers. It is estimated to affect one million people in just the United States, and $14 billion is spent annually treating it. Also , ten million people are estimated to suffer from Parkinson's Worldwide. Parkinson's is a chronic and progressive disease that persists and worsens over time.

Tay-Sachs Disease

Jerry Lou
(Wayzata High School)

Tay-Sachs disease is a relatively rare genetic disorder where it is passed down from parents to offspring. According to the Mayo Clinic, Tay-Sachs disease occurs when there is an absence of an enzyme, Hex A(Beta-Hexosaminidase A), which helps with breaking down fatty substances called gangliosides.This accumulation of gangliosides results in build up of toxic levels in the brain and spinal cord and affect the function of nerve cells.

Burkitt Lymphoma and c-Myc Gene

Manasa Thiruppathi
(Amador Valley High School)

Burkitt Lymphoma represents a rare yet highly aggressive form of Non-Hodgkin's cancer originating in the immune system. This cancer type triggers uncontrolled growth of B-cells and is marked by symptoms such as abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, weakness, and swollen lymph nodes. Tumor lysis, wherein tumor cells release their contents into the bloodstream, often leads to organ damage and loss of muscle control.

Hemophilia A: The Royal Disease

Margarita Cham & Beatrice Fernandez
(Chinese International School Manila)

Hemophilia A is a disorder characterized by a deficiency of the protein "clotting Factor VIII" in the bloodstream. This deficiency leads to prolonged bleeding following injuries such as tooth extractions, surgeries, and delayed or recurring bleeding during the wound-healing process. Hemophilia A is categorized into three main levels of severity: severe, moderate, and mild.

Familial Mediterranean Fever

Alicia Boubrit
(Walnut Hills High School)

Familial Mediterranean Fever, is one of the rarest inherited diseases to have spread throughout the Mediterranean area, specifically in the Middle East. It is an autoinflammatory genetic disorder that directly attacks the innate immune system by inhibiting any means for the immune system to protect itself. FMF is caused by a mutation in the gene MEFV, which codes for the protein pyrin.

Chronic Eczema

Mary Hakeem
(La Serna High School)

Eczema is a dermatological condition that can arise from environmental factors, genetic mutations, or hereditary causes. While it can appear on any part of the body, it most commonly manifests on the hands, face, and neck. Eczema can develop at any stage of life, although it is particularly prevalent among infants, adults, and individuals aged between 13 to 18 years.

Coronary Heart Disease

Almari Rheeder
(Beijing City International School)

Coronary heart disease is a disease in which fatty deposits made up of cholesterol and other cellular materials (plaque) accumulate inside the coronary arteries on the surface of the heart, leading to the narrowing of the arteries." (World Health Organization) It is the most common heart disease in the United States of America.

Impact of APOE-e4 on Developing Alzheimer’s Disease

Nunnaphat Haripottawekul
(International School Bangkok)

The APOE-e4 gene variant is one of three forms of the APOE gene, with the others being APOE-e2 and APOE-e3. It constitutes a significant genetic risk factor for the development of Alzheimer's disease. Research on APOE-e4 has shown that individuals inheriting one copy of this variant from a parent face a notably higher risk of Alzheimer's compared to those without it.

Genetics of Epilepsy

Adina Almakhambetova
(NIS PhM Almaty)

Epilepsy is a chronic noncommunicable brain condition that affects approximately 50 million people worldwide. Its main symptom is recurrent seizures, which can be brief bursts of involuntary movement impacting a specific part of the body (partial) or the entire body (generalized). Seizure episodes occur due to excessive electrical discharges in clusters of brain cells. These discharges can originate from various brain areas.

Parkinson’s Disease

Isabella Zarzar
(Carlmont High School)

Parkinson's disease is a progressive disorder of the nervous system that affects various regions of the brain, notably the substantia nigra, a region responsible for controlling balance and movement. The development of this disease is a result of a complex interplay of environmental and genetic factors, possibly involving multiple components that contribute to its onset.

Rheumatic Heart Disease

Ryan Cortenbach
(Coral Academy of Sci. Las Vegas)

Rheumatic Heart Disease (RHD) is a systemic immune condition initially caused by an untreated streptococcus pyogenes throat infection, which then could develop into Acute Rheumatic Fever (ARF) if the patient does not receive medication. One or more episodes of ARF can trigger an autoimmune reaction that leads to severe valvular heart damage by inflammation (especially in genetically susceptible individuals), more commonly known as RHD.

Melanoma & Circulating Tumour DNA

Jhanavi Srivastava
(Woodlawn High School)

The cells that make melanin, the pigment responsible for your skin's colour, grow into melanoma, one of the most dangerous types of skin cancer. Additionally, melanoma can develop in your eyes and, very rarely, inside your body, like in your throat or nose. It can start in a mole (skin melanoma), but it can also begin in pigmented tissues like the intestines or the eye.

Human Immunodeficiency Virus

Jaein Kho
(Chinese International School)

The progressive loss of CD4+ T-cells within a host due to an outside pathogen leads to a severe immunodeficiency disease called human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). As a result, HIV patients are more likely to acquire pathogens from an oncological or infectious nature, and pose lethal threats to the body

Pancreatic Cancer and Therapeutics

Katelyn Gelle
(Del Norte High School)

In familial pancreatic cancer, there exists a kindred which contains at least a pair of first-degree relatives who were affected with pancreatic adenocarcinoma. Roughly 5 to 10 percent of patients suffering from pancreatic adenocarcinoma have this aspect. Half of these with familial pancreatic cancer are male, and the average age at diagnosis of affected members is younger than the usual.

Brain Tumor

Mounami Reddy Kayitha
(Aragon High School)

Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most malignant of brain tumors, classified as a grade IV glioma that originates in glial tissue. GBMs have a low median survival rate of 15 months, despite surgery and treatment with a chemotherapy drug. The reasons for this low overall survival rate is because of GBM heterogeneity and differing mutational profiles within the tumor itself.

Cystic Fibrosis

Jaein Kho,

Cystic Fibrosis is a genetic disorder that is caused by a mutation in the Cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator ( CFTR ) gene. Cystic Fibrosis is an autosomal recessive disorder; therefore in order for a patient to have CF, the patient has to have acquired at least one mutated CFTR gene from each parent whether homozygous or heterozygous.

Multiple Sclerosis

Abhisri Korrapati
(Allen D. Nease High School)

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a chronic autoimmune disease resulting from demyelination, dangerous areas of the central nervous system (CNS) such as the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves. MS is characterized by the destruction of myelin, the sheath that insulates the axon of a nerve, interrupting communication signals in the brain.

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