APS recognizes Intel high school finalists for experiments in physiology

07/13/04

Winners are from Beaverton OR, Danville CA, Warwick RI, Manhasset NY, San Antonio TX, and Hialeah FL.

Portland, Oregon – The American Physiological Society presented special awards for outstanding projects in physiology, including cellular physiology, animal physiology, and neurophysiology, to four finalists at the 55th Annual International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), sponsored by Intel Corp.

Allison Jaye Landstrom, a senior from Southridge High School, Beaverton, Oregon, was a unanimous choice for the APS first prize of $1,000. She studied whether most anterior cruciate ligament tears in females result from an enhanced response to relaxin, a polypeptide hormone. Ms. Landstrom used porcine tissues (Achilles tendon strips) in an in vitro study done entirely in her school laboratory. Her paper was entitled, The Effects of the Relaxin Hormone on the Laxity of Male and Female Anterior Cruciate Ligament Tissue, in vitro.

Samuel Gregory Finlayson, a freshman from San Ramon Valley High School, Danville, California, was awarded the APS second prize of $500. He performed much of his project outside the laboratory as he studied the effects of chlorine on the lung function of outdoor swimmers.

The APS judges were led by P.K. Rangachari, professor of pharmacology and therapeutics at the University of Alberta, Canada, who said, "Mr. Finlayson's study was a neat example of integrative physiology." His study was entitled, Effect of Chlorine on Lung Function of Outdoor Swimmers.

The two third prize winners, who received $500 each, were John Zeqi Luo of Bishop Hendricken High School, Warwick, Rhode Island, and Jason Scott Pellegrino from Manhasset High School, Manhasset, New York.

Both worked on different aspects of glucose homeostasis. John Luo focused on the effects of an extract of American ginseng root on insulin secretion in beta cells (Alternative Medicine: A Relief for Diabetes, Phase 3). Jason Pellegrino used transgenic mice for his project (Analysis of Metformin's Effect on Brain Insulin Receptors).

In addition to the four award winners, the APS judging team recognized two other students with honorable mentions:

Julian Clint Hong, a senior from Ronald Reagan High School in San Antonio, Texas (Restraining Restenosis: Combating Vascular Disease –Year 4), and Lisha Laura Constantine, a senior from the American Senior High School in Hialeah, Florida (Characterization of a Truncated Form of Slow Skeletal Troponin T that Causes Nemaline Myopathy). These students received a one-year subscription to Physiology, the new invited-review journal from APS, which also publishes 13 peer-reviewed journals.

In addition to Dr. Rangachari, who was representing the APS Education Committee, the other APS judges were: Virginia Brooks, Charles Roselli and John Resko, all from the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology at the Oregon Health and Sciences University, Portland, Oregon.

Source: Eurekalert & others

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