ATLANTA, Nov. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Research projects in Biochemistry and Genetics boasted top marks this evening for James Meixiong and the team of Sajith Wickramasekara and Andrew Guo in the Region Six Finals of the 2008 Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology, the nation's premier high school science competition.
The Siemens Competition, a signature program of the Siemens Foundation, is administered by the College Board. Tonight's winners will receive thousands of dollars in college scholarships and be invited to compete at the National Finals in New York City, where the winners of six regional competitions across the United States will vie for scholarships ranging from $10,000 to the top prize of $100,000.
"These students have competed with some of the greatest young minds in our country, and are now on an amazing journey to the finals for the most coveted high school science prize in the nation," said James Whaley, President of the Siemens Foundation, based in Iselin, New Jersey. "The fact that we've experienced a record-setting year, including a 10 percent increase in both team and individual project submissions and more than a 16 percent increase in the number of registrations, makes their achievement even more commendable. We congratulate them on their hard work and look forward to welcoming them to the national event."
The students presented their research this weekend to a panel of judges
James Meixiong, a senior at Lakeside High School in Evans, Georgia, won the individual category and a $3,000 college scholarship for his biochemistry research that took several approaches to address how the structure of mitochondria influences the cellular levels of two proteins, Bax and Bak. His project is titled Inhibition of Bax/Bak activation by mitochondrial fusion: a novel mechanism to block programmed cell death.
"The long term goals of Mr. Meixiong's research are to fully comprehend
the complex integrated pathways that lead to apoptosis, or cell death, with
the hope that a small molecule therapeutic could be designed to control
apoptosis in diseased cells," said Dr. Raquel Lieberman, Assistant Professor
in the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the
Mr. Meixiong is the Team Captain of his school's Science Bowl and the Olympiad Team and also manages his school's swim team. He won the Department of Energy's Regional Science Bowl Competition in April 2008. Mr. Meixiong has won numerous medals at the State Science Olympiad Tournament, including a first place medal in Ecology. He heard about the Siemens Competition after a friend was named a Regional Finalist last year.
Mr. Meixiong is fluent in Chinese and is a member of a volunteer
organization called Chinese School United Student Action. He spends his free
time as a math tutor and a junior volunteer at the University Hospital of
Augusta, Georgia. Both of his parents are research scientists at the
Sajith M. Wickramasekara and Andrew Y. Guo, both seniors at the
"Mr. Wickramasekara and Mr. Guo's project was chosen because despite an
enormous amount of research on cancer therapeutics, there is still a need to
identify new genes to target for treatment," said Dr. Kostas Konstantinidis,
Assistant Professor in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering and
the school of Biology at the
Mr. Wickramasekara is the team leader and heard about the Siemens Competition in 2006 when seniors from his high school were selected as Regional Finalists. Mr. Wickramasekara is captain of his school's Science Bowl and has participated in various science competitions including the 2008 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, the North Carolina State Science and Engineering Fair and the North Carolina Junior Science Humanities Symposium. He is an Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts of America and dreams of one day owning his own biotech startup, specializing in personalized medicine.
Mr. Wickramasekara and Mr. Guo co-founded the Student Journal of Research
The team worked on this project with the help of their mentor, Dr. Craig
B. Bennett, Assistant Professor,
Regional Finalists each received a $1,000 scholarship. In addition, the Siemens Foundation awards $2,000 per project to the high school of every Regional Finalist.
Regional Finalists in the individual category were:
-- Rohit Thummalapalli, American Heritage School, Plantation, FL
-- Alexander M. Kim, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, Alexandria, VA
-- Agatha A. Cummings, Oak Ridge High School, Oak Ridge, TN
-- Varun Bansal, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, Alexandria, VA
Regional Finalists in the team category were:
-- Jonathan Wang and Jared V. Goodman, Oak Hall School, Gainesville, FL
-- Katherine S. Xue and Alborz Bejnood, Oak Ridge High School, Oak Ridge, TN
-- Ruowan Yan and Melissa H. Hou, duPont Manual High School, Louisville, KY
The Siemens Competition
The Siemens Competition was launched in 1998 to recognize America's best and brightest math and science students. In another record-setting year, 1,893 students registered to enter the Siemens Competition with a total of 1,205 projects submitted -- this includes an increase of more than 10 percent in team and individual project submissions and an increase of more than 16 percent in the number of registrations.
Entries are judged at the regional level by esteemed scientists at six
leading research universities which host the regional competitions:
Winners of the regional events are invited to compete at the National
About the Siemens Foundation
The Siemens Foundation provides more than $7 million annually in support of educational initiatives in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math in the United States. Its signature programs, the Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology and Siemens Awards for Advanced Placement, reward exceptional achievement in science, math and technology. The newest program, The Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge, encourages K-12 students to develop innovative green solutions for environmental issues. By supporting outstanding students today, and recognizing the teachers and schools that inspire their excellence, the Foundation helps nurture tomorrow's scientists and engineers. The Foundation's mission is based on the culture of innovation, research and educational support that is the hallmark of Siemens' U.S. companies and its parent company, Siemens AG. For more information, visit www.siemens-foundation.org.
About The College Board
The College Board is a not-for-profit membership association whose mission is to connect students to college success and opportunity. Founded in 1900, the association is composed of more than 5,400 schools, colleges, universities, and other educational organizations. Each year, the College Board serves seven million students and their parents, 23,000 high schools, and 3,500 colleges through major programs and services in college admissions, guidance, assessment, financial aid, enrollment, and teaching and learning. Among its best-known programs are the SAT(R), the PSAT/NMSQT(R), and the Advanced Placement Program(R) (AP(R)). The College Board is committed to the principles of excellence and equity, and that commitment is embodied in all of its programs, services, activities, and concerns. For further information, visit www.collegeboard.com.
CONTACT: Valerie Francois Siemens Foundation 732-590-5292 firstname.lastname@example.org Jennifer Sheeley Weber Shandwick 212-445-8430 email@example.com Alexander Aizenberg Weber Shandwick 212-445-8414 firstname.lastname@example.org
|SOURCE Siemens Foundation|
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