Roslyn Seniors Named Scholar Honorees In 2024 Regeneron Competition

Jacob Gross (Contributed photos)

Roslyn High School seniors Jacob Gross, Cayden Shen, and Shayla Zheng, are three of 300 Scholar Honorees to be named in the Regeneron Science Talent Search 2024 Competition—the nation’s oldest and most prestigious science and math competition for high school seniors. The competition provides students with a national stage to present original research and celebrates the hard work and novel discoveries of young scientists who are bringing a fresh perspective to significant global challenges.

All 300 scholars will be awarded $2,000 each and their schools will be awarded $2,000 for each enrolled scholar. On January 24, 2024, 40 of the 300 will be selected as finalists and granted a trip to Washington, D.C., in March to compete for a piece of $1.8 million in prize money.

Jacob’s project, titled: Investigating Synergistic Interactions Among SARS-CoV-2 Neutralizing Antibodies, focused on COVID-19 monoclonal antibodies—complex protein molecules that are used to prevent and treat COVID infections. He investigated the potentially beneficial interactions, known as synergy, that occur when multiple antibodies are combined together in a cocktail. Synergistic combinations often exhibit increased potency and therefore increased treatment efficacy.

Shayla Zheng

Cayden’s project, titled: Using an Inexpensive Night Vision Camera as a Novel Detector in NIR Spectroscopy, focused on NIR spectrometers—devices that use near-infrared light to characterize samples. Since their utility is limited by the high price of the devices, the aim of his study was to design and build an NIR spectrometer using an inexpensive night vision camera, which can detect near-infrared light, as an alternative detector— the part of the spectrometer that measures the amount of light. He achieved a spectrometer with an acceptable resolution for a fraction of the cost of commercial spectrometers.

Cayden Shen

Shayla’s project, titled; Cell Fusion as a Novel Mechanism Behind JQ1 Resistance in Triple Negative Breast Cancer, discovered a novel mechanism that decreases the efficacy of JQ1—a potent drug that inhibits triple-negative breast cancer growth. The fusion of breast cancer tumor cells and immune cells was found to induce chemoresistance, thereby diminishing the effects of drug therapies, like JQ1.

“These are three phenomenal students out of a truly remarkable group of twelve Roslyn High School seniors who submitted to Regeneron this year.” said Roslyn’s Coordinator of Secondary Research Dr. Allyson Weseley. “I’m so proud of all of them!”

Regeneron Science Talent Search scholars were selected from 2,163 entrants from 712 high schools across 46 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and 10 other countries. Scholars were chosen based on their outstanding research, leadership skills, community involvement, commitment to academics, creativity in asking scientific questions and exceptional promise as STEM leaders demonstrated through the submission of their original, independent research projects, essays and recommendations. The 300 scholars hail from 196 American and international high schools in 36 states and China. Long Island has the most semifinalists of any region in the country, with 50 local high school seniors making semifinalist status.

—Submitted by Cynthia Younker for the Roslyn School District

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