UMSL-mentored STARS participants win award

A summer of hard work has paid off for three aspiring scientists, who spent several weeks conducting intensive research with University of Missouri-St. Louis faculty members. The students have been named among the 24 winners of the 2009 Pfizer and LMIAerospace/D3 Technologies Award for Excellence in Research. The award is presented to students who distinguished themselves during the 2009 Students and Teachers as Research Scientists program at UMSL.

STARS introduces high school juniors and seniors to the various aspects of the scientific enterprise as practiced by successful scientists in academic, private or corporate research institutions. UMSL, in cooperation with the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, Saint Louis University, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and Washington University in St. Louis, sponsors the summer research program for rising junior and senior high school students. This year, more than 70 students participated in the program.

They chose one research project from a variety of opportunities. Fifty-three faculty members from the participating institutions and two scientists from the Danforth Center volunteered for this project. Following weeks of research, the students submitted research papers for possible publication.

Senior scientists at Pfizer and LMI Aerospace/D3 Technologies reviewed the papers. Winning papers best exemplified the following qualities: difficulty and complexity of research; appropriateness of the research methodology; findings; quality of writing; and overall quality of the research process.

Below is a listing of winning papers by students mentored by UMSL faculty members. Also listed are the student’s school, his or her mentor and the company awarding the student:

•Saya Jacob, Ladue (Missouri) Horton Watkins High School, “Expression of a Putative Non-specific Phospholipase C in Arabidopsis (PLC 514),” Xuemin (Sam) Wang, the E. Desmond Lee and Family Fund Endowed Professor in Plant Science in Connection with the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center at UMSL. (Pfizer)

•Meredith Redick, Clayton (Missouri) High School, “Intracavity Laser Absorption Spectroscopy of Transition Metal Diatomic Molecules: Electronic Transitions of Titanium Fluoride in the Near Infrared Spectral Region,” James O’Brien, professor of Chemistry at UMSL, and Leah O’Brien, professor of physical science at SIUE. (LMI/D3)

•Marta Wells, Lafayette High School in Wildwood, Mo., “Nanoporous Gold as a Support for Competitive Immunoassays in Prostate Cancer Diagnosis Using UV-Visible Spectrophotometry,” Keith Stine, professor of chemistry at UMSL. (LMI/D3)

Call Ken Mares at 314-516-6155 for more information about the STARS program.


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