A student from Brookline High School and a team of two students from Lexington High School have made it into the eastern region semifinals of the Siemens Competition, which offers two $100,000 prizes to budding scientists, mathematicians, and engineers each year.
Minhye Kim, a Brookline High senior, researched the connection between hepatitis B and diabetes, aiming to prevent the onset of Type 2 diabetes in hepatitis B-infected patients.
Kim's father Young-Bum, who works at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center as a Harvard professor, said his daughter's project sheds light on an unexplored area of diabetes research. "This is the first research on this subject," he said.
Brittney Joyce and Andrew Walsh, seniors at Lexington High, mapped the spread of avian flu and how it mutated, hoping to add to understanding of how to prevent future epidemics.
A total of five projects by individuals and five projects by two-student teams were chosen as semifinalists in each of six regions nationwide. The students gave 12-minute public presentations and answered questions from judges during a 12-minute closed-door session.
Jim Whaley, president of the Siemens Foundation, said this honor serves as a validation of the students' hard work.
"These kids are endowed with a special gift," he said. "We hope that all of them continue their studies and research."
One individual project and one team project will be chosen to move onto the national finals. The contestants will find out who moves onto the finals tonight at the awards ceremony at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Those groups moving on to the finals will present their research projects again in December at New York University.
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