Melvin Thu is congratulated by Jessica York, science department chair/science research director at North High School. (Contributed photo)

North High Senior Is First Author Of Published Research

North High School senior Melvin Thu is the first author of a published research paper titled, “The Role of Irisin in Load-regulated Bone Health.” Melvin is a member of the North High science research program. He conducted his research at the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at Albert Einstein College of Medicine under the guidance of mentor Dr. Mia M. Thi.

Melvin’s research explored the role of irisin, a hormone released during exercise that has been found to both regulate blood glucose and improve bone metabolism in Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) associated osteoporosis. The research found that in T1D mice, a loss in cortical bone thickness coincides with a lack of irisin upregulation in response to bone loading seen in healthy mice, indicating that altered irisin signaling may be the cause of bone fragility in patients with T1D. While additional research is necessary, these findings suggest that irisin-based therapeutics may be effective for treating T1D-associated osteoporosis.

“Working at the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at Albert Einstein College of Medicine allowed me to apply the same scientific process I’ve used since eighth-grade research at North,” says Melvin.

While conducting research at the facility, he was able to build upon his middle and high school research experiences with close guidance from experts in the field of mechanobiology. “I not only became familiar with procedures such as cell culture, but also gained the valuable experience of working in a laboratory with other experiments taking place simultaneously, helping to carry out parts of the methodologies of other experiments, and also seeking assistance for my own experiment when needed.”

Melvin’s credit as first author indicates his role as the lead contributor to the paper, which includes conducting the research and writing the manuscript. His published paper serves as a component of a larger, ongoing study being conducted by Dr. Thi that focuses on bone mechanosignaling.

The North High Science Research program is led by teachers Christopher Bambino, Alison Widawsky, and Jessica York, science department chair/director of science research.

—Submitted by the
Great Neck Public Schools District

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