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Seniors Present Summer Science Research Work

In 2019-2020, 14 motivated juniors participated in Shady Side Academy Senior School's Science Research Seminar course, taught by Dr. Kelly VandenBosche. The course focuses on advancing research skills such as the reading of primary scientific literature, data analysis, scientific ethics and science communication skills. As part of the course, students were placed in collaborating research laboratories at the University of Pittsburgh, George Washington University, Carnegie Mellon University, Duquesne University and UPMC this past summer to complete research internships.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the students' research mentors quickly created alternate projects that the students could complete virtually. Many of the students had to learn new computational programming and database skills to take on projects that were theoretical or computational in nature since they were not able to physically work in the lab. These types of projects tend to be more difficult and abstract. All projects were very impressive!

  • Senior Ishika Arora worked with Dr. Wei Xiong at the Physical Metallurgy & Materials Design Lab at the University of Pittsburgh, where she researched metal additive manufacturing.
  • Senior Alexander Biglan also worked with Dr. Wei Xiong at the Physical Metallurgy & Materials Design Lab at the University of Pittsburgh, where he researched metal additive manufacturing.
  • Senior Sara Burr worked with Dr. Keith Crandall at the Computational Biology Institute at George Washington University, where she analyzed the phylogeny of the aegla species.
  • Senior Stephanie Chen worked with Dr. Qihan Liu at the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering, where she analyzed double layer electroadhesion between charged gel particles.
  • Senior Tyler Hart worked with Dr. Ethan Rossi at the Rossi Laboratory Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. He studied the development of optical pathways and mechanical mounts to implement fiber bundles in adaptive optics imaging.
  • Senior Andrew Liu worked with Dr. Mayank Goal at the Human Computer Intersection Lab at Carnegie Mellon University. His research focused on expanding the user interface of smartwatches using mixed reality and hand tracking.
  • Senior Renee Long worked with Dr. Raja Mazumder at the High-Performance Integrated Virtual Environment Lab at George Washington University, where she participated in the COVID-19 Biomarkers Knowledgebase Project.
  • Senior Eve Mango worked with Dr. Andrew VanDemark at the University of Pittsburgh Department of Biological Sciences, where she worked to determine the methods by which Bacteriophave Adephagia-73 efficiently counteracts mycobacterium tuberculosis.
  • Senior Nora Navid worked with Dr. Karen Arndt at the University of Pittsburgh Department of Biological Sciences Lab to examine various conditions in the yeast cell to determine which genes play a significant role in transcript buffering.
  • Senior Hannah Romoff worked with Dr. Lisa Rosen at the Magee Women's Research Institute on the development of an Ex Vivo Model for evaluating pharmaceutical film mucoadhesion.
  • Senior Jasminder Sarkaria worked with Dr. Umamaheswar Duvvuri at the UPMC Department of Otolaryncology on the classification of biopsy samples based on clinical attributes for subsequent genomic profiling.
  • Senior Stefan Stratimirovic worked with Dr. Jelena Janjic at the Duquesne University School of Pharmacy Chronic Pain Research Consortium and participated in PFC data mining.
  • Senior Jason Vasko worked with Dr. Ethan Rossi at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine Rossi Lab Department of Ophthalmology, where he developed a process to simulate optical aberration in images and a method to validate the accuracy of Synthetic Photoreceptor Mosaic images.
  • Senior Nancy Wang worked with Christopher Langmead at the Carnegie Mellon University Computational Biology Department to develop an empirical model based on clinical spectrum to predict a COVID-19 diagnosis.

The 14 students, now seniors, presented their research and answered questions virtually via Zoom at the third annual Summer Research Seminar evening, held Wednesday, Oct. 21.

View a photo slideshow below:


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