Twenty-three aspiring scientists who spent several weeks conducting intensive research with St. Louis-area professionals and professors are now reaping their rewards. The students have been named winners of the LMI Aerospace Inc./D3 Technologies Award for Excellence in Research. The award is presented to students who distinguished themselves during the 2010 Students and Teachers as Research Scientists program at the University of Missouri–St. Louis.

STARS introduces high school juniors and seniors to the various aspects of the scientific enterprise as practiced by scientists in academic, private or corporate research institutions. The program is sponsored by Pfizer Inc., LMI Aerospace Inc. /D3Technologies, St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, Saint Louis University, Washington University in St. Louis and UMSL. The Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in Creve Coeur, Mo., Saint Louis University, Solae, St. Louis College of Pharmacy, Washington University and the host institution provided research opportunities for the participants.

This year, more than 60 students from 28 high schools in the St. Louis metro area participated in the program. For six weeks, biologists, chemists, engineers, medical researchers, psychologists and public health experts from the participating institutions mentored the students. Following their research, the students presented their papers to the faculty and peers and some participants will submitted their research papers for possible publication.

Senior scientists from Monsanto, LMI Aerospace/D3 Technologies, SIUE, and Washington University 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 complete listing of winners and their projects from the 2010 STARS program. Also listed are the winner’s school, his or her mentor, the mentor’s university and the company awarding the student:

Hima Atluri, Visitation Academy, “The Effect of Knocking Down P2Y1 Expression in Mice on Bone Metastasis,” Dr. Katherine Weilbaecher, Dept. of Internal Medicine – Medical Oncology, Washington University

Dushyant Bhatnagar, Parkway South High School, “Energy Conversion of Amino Acids Through the Use of Mitochondria Catalysts for Electrodes,” Dr. Shelley Minteer, Dept. of Chemistry, Saint Louis University

Vivek Biswas, MICDS, “Fe(II) Effect on the Desorption of Arsenic From Hematite Solids,” Dr. Jeffrey Catalano and Dr. Yun Luo, Washington University

Aashish Chalasani, MICDS, “Intracavity Laser Spectroscopy of Gas-Phase Platinum Carbide and Platinum Chloride Molecules,” Dr. James O’Brien and Dr. Leah O’Brien, Dept. of Chemistry and Biochemistry, UMSL/SIU-E

Chloe Ferris, MICDS, “Epigenetic Regulation of FoxP3 in CD8 T-Cells,” Dr. Rajeev Aurora, Dept. of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, Saint Louis University

Mrigank Gupta, Parkway West High School, “The Effect of Gene Knockout on GGA Expression in the Eye,” Dr. Joseph Eissenberg, Dept. of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Saint Louis University

Ryan Hall, Chaminade College Prep, “The Effect of NTBI on the Phosphorylation of SMAD 1, 5, 8,” Dr. Robert Fleming, Dept. of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Saint Louis University

Rebecca Lambert, Westminster Christian Academy, “Assessing the Preparedness of Home Health Agencies,” Dr. Terri Rebmann, School of Public Health, Saint Louis University

Paul Lisker, Clayton High School, “Exploring the Dominant Axis of Facial Expressiveness During Human Communication,” Dr. J. Gail Neely, Dept. of Otolaryngology, Washington University

Ryan Liu, Ladue Horton Watkins High School, “Attempted Synthesis and Study of a Novel Silylborane,” Dr. Peter Gaspar, Dept. of Chemistry, Washington University

Johanna Lowell, Crossroads College Prep, “Analyzing the Preparedness of Home Health Agencies for a Comprehensive Disaster Plan,” Dr. Terri Rebmann, School of Public Health, Saint Louis University

Radhika Natarajan, Francis Howell High School, “Assessment of 99mTc-Sestamibi as a Potential Noninvasive Imaging Probe in Human Pancreatic Carcinoma Cells,” Dr. Vijay Sharma, Dept. of Radiology, Washington University

Cat Pherigo, Francis Howell North High School, “Transient Kinetic Characterization with Y-Procedure: Application to CO Oxidation on Pd Catalyst,” Dr. Grigoriy Yablonsky, Parks College of Engineering, Aviaton and Technology, Saint Louis University.

Vikram Ponnusamy, Parkway South High School, “Stability of Standard and Non-Standard RNA Bases,” Dr. Brent Znosko, Dept. of Chemistry, Saint Louis University

Stephen Ryan, Missouri Academy, “Intracavity Laser Absorption Spectroscopy of PtC and HCl Gas,” Dr. James O’Brien and Dr. Leah O’Brien, UMSL/SIU-E

Avital Shulman, Block Yeshiva High School, “Embryonic Stem Cell Differentiation Along the Oligodendrocyte Lineage: The Effects of Morphine,” Dr. Mariana Beltcheva, Dept. of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Saint Louis University

Conor Tillinghast, John Burroughs School, “Stacking Interactions in DNA: Computational Modeling and Application in DNA Intercalators,” Dr. Michael Lewis, Dept. of Chemistry, Saint Louis University

Hima Veeramachaneni, Parkway South High School, “How RecOR Change DNA Conformation to Initiate Homologous Recombination,” Dr. Sergey Korolev, Dept. of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Saint Louis University

Elise Viox, Cor Jesu Academy, “NPC4 and Myb66 Oil Biosynthesis Pathways and NPC4 Response to NaCl Stress in Camelina sativa,” Dr. Xuemin (Sam) Wang, Dept. of Biology UMSL/Donald Danforth Plant Science Center

Melissa Wang, Ladue Horton Watkins High School, “How 1 is Greater than 2: The Kinetic Study of 4CL and STS Fusion Protein,” Dr. Oliver Yu, Donald Danforth Plant Science Center

Zach Weinstock, Parkway North High School, “The Role of the Globus Pallidus in Sleep Homeostasis,” Dr. Michael Anch, Dept. of Psychology, Saint Louis University

Emily Wilson, Parkway Central High School, “The Urogenital System of Male Rhyacotritonidae: An Anatomical and Phylogenetic Study,” Dr. Robert Aldridge, Dept. of Biology, Saint Louis University

Jacqueline Yap, Lafayette High School, “Analysis of Enzymes Extracted from Sulfolobus solfataricus and Gluconobacter SP.33,” Dr. Shelley Minteer, Dept. of Chemistry, Saint Louis University

More information:
314-516-6155

STARS participants receive research awards

LMI Aerospace/D3 Technologies honor students for excellence in research

A summer of hard work has paid off for 23 aspiring scientists who spent several weeks conducting intensive research with St. Louis-area professionals and professors. The students have been named winners of the LMI Aerospace Inc./D3 Technologies Award for Excellence in Research. The award is presented to students who distinguished themselves during the 2010 Students and Teachers as Research Scientists program at the University of Missouri­–St. Louis.

STARS introduces high school juniors and seniors to the various aspects of the scientific enterprise as practiced by scientists in academic, private or corporate research institutions. The program is sponsored by Pfizer Inc., LMI Aerospace Inc. /D3Technologies, St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, Saint Louis University, Washington University in St. Louis and UMSL. The Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in Creve Coeur, Mo., Saint Louis University, Solae, St. Louis College of Pharmacy, Washington University and the host institution provided research opportunities for the participants.

This year, more than 60 students from 28 high schools in the St. Louis metro area participated in the program. For six weeks, biologists, chemists, engineers, medical researchers, psychologists and public health experts from the participating institutions mentored the students. Following their research, the students presented their papers to the faculty and peers and some participants will submitted their research papers for possible publication.

Senior scientists from Monsanto, LMI Aerospace/D3 Technologies, SIUE, and Washington University 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 complete listing of winners and their projects from the 2010 STARS program. Also listed are the winner’s school, his or her mentor, the mentor’s university and the company awarding the student:

  • Hima Atluri, Visitation Academy, “The Effect of Knocking Down P2Y1 Expression in Mice on Bone Metastasis,” Dr. Katherine Weilbaecher, Dept. of Internal Medicine – Medical Oncology, Washington University

  • Dushyant Bhatnagar, Parkway South High School, “Energy Conversion of Amino Acids Through the Use of Mitochondria Catalysts for Electrodes,” Dr. Shelley Minteer, Dept. of Chemistry, Saint Louis University

  • Vivek Biswas, MICDS, “Fe(II) Effect on the Desorption of Arsenic From Hematite Solids,” Dr. Jeffrey Catalano and Dr. Yun Luo, Washington University

  • Aashish Chalasani, MICDS, “Intracavity Laser Spectroscopy of Gas-Phase Platinum Carbide and Platinum Chloride Molecules,” Dr. James O’Brien and Dr. Leah O’Brien, Dept. of Chemistry and Biochemistry, UMSL/SIU-E

  • Chloe Ferris, MICDS, “Epigenetic Regulation of FoxP3 in CD8 T-Cells,” Dr. Rajeev Aurora, Dept. of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, Saint Louis University

  • Mrigank Gupta, Parkway West High School, “The Effect of Gene Knockout on GGA Expression in the Eye,” Dr. Joseph Eissenberg, Dept. of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Saint Louis University

  • Ryan Hall, Chaminade College Prep, “The Effect of NTBI on the Phosphorylation of SMAD 1, 5, 8,” Dr. Robert Fleming, Dept. of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Saint Louis University

  • Rebecca Lambert, Westminster Christian Academy, “Assessing the Preparedness of Home Health Agencies,” Dr. Terri Rebmann, School of Public Health, Saint Louis University

  • Paul Lisker, Clayton High School, “Exploring the Dominant Axis of Facial Expressiveness During Human Communication,” Dr. J. Gail Neely, Dept. of Otolaryngology, Washington University

  • Ryan Liu, Ladue Horton Watkins High School, “Attempted Synthesis and Study of a Novel Silylborane,” Dr. Peter Gaspar, Dept. of Chemistry, Washington University

  • Johanna Lowell, Crossroads College Prep, “Analyzing the Preparedness of Home Health Agencies for a Comprehensive Disaster Plan,” Dr. Terri Rebmann, School of Public Health, Saint Louis University

  • Radhika Natarajan, Francis Howell High School, “Assessment of 99mTc-Sestamibi as a Potential Noninvasive Imaging Probe in Human Pancreatic Carcinoma Cells,” Dr. Vijay Sharma, Dept. of Radiology, Washington University

  • Cat Pherigo, Francis Howell North High School, “Transient Kinetic Characterization with Y-Procedure: Application to CO Oxidation on Pd Catalyst,” Dr. Grigoriy Yablonsky, Parks College of Engineering, Aviaton and Technology, Saint Louis University.

  • Vikram Ponnusamy, Parkway South High School, “Stability of Standard and Non-Standard RNA Bases,” Dr. Brent Znosko, Dept. of Chemistry, Saint Louis University

  • Stephen Ryan, Missouri Academy, “Intracavity Laser Absorption Spectroscopy of PtC and HCl Gas,” Dr. James O’Brien and Dr. Leah O’Brien, UMSL/SIU-E

  • Avital Shulman, Block Yeshiva High School, “Embryonic Stem Cell Differentiation Along the Oligodendrocyte Lineage: The Effects of Morphine,” Dr. Mariana Beltcheva, Dept. of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Saint Louis University

  • Conor Tillinghast, John Burroughs School, “Stacking Interactions in DNA: Computational Modeling and Application in DNA Intercalators,” Dr. Michael Lewis, Dept. of Chemistry, Saint Louis University

  • Hima Veeramachaneni, Parkway South High School, “How RecOR Change DNA Conformation to Initiate Homologous Recombination,” Dr. Sergey Korolev, Dept. of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Saint Louis University

  • Elise Viox, Cor Jesu Academy, “NPC4 and Myb66 Oil Biosynthesis Pathways and NPC4 Response to NaCl Stress in Camelina sativa,” Dr. Xuemin (Sam) Wang, Dept. of Biology UMSL/Donald Danforth Plant Science Center

  • Melissa Wang, Ladue Horton Watkins High School, “How 1 is Greater than 2: The Kinetic Study of 4CL and STS Fusion Protein,” Dr. Oliver Yu, Donald Danforth Plant Science Center

  • Zach Weinstock, Parkway North High School, “The Role of the Globus Pallidus in Sleep Homeostasis,” Dr. Michael Anch, Dept. of Psychology, Saint Louis University

  • Emily Wilson, Parkway Central High School, “The Urogenital System of Male Rhyacotritonidae: An Anatomical and Phylogenetic Study,” Dr. Robert Aldridge, Dept. of Biology, Saint Louis University

  • Jacqueline Yap, Lafayette High School, “Analysis of Enzymes Extracted from Sulfolobus solfataricus and Gluconobacter SP.33,” Dr. Shelley Minteer, Dept. of Chemistry, Saint Louis University

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

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Kylie Shafferkoetter

Kylie Shafferkoetter

Eye on UMSL: ‘The Impresario’

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