School for Science and Math students place in national competition

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School for Science and Math at Vanderbilt logoThree members of the School for Science and Math at Vanderbilt’s (SSMV) senior class have been named as semifinalists in this year’s Regeneron Science Talent Search.

Two students attend Martin Luther King Jr. Magnet and one is a student at Hume-Fogg Academic Magnet. All will receive $2,000 prizes and matching awards will be sent to their high schools.

  • Julia An (MLK) completed her project, “Identification and Characterization of Helicobacter PyloriGenes Regulating DNA Translocation and TLR9 Activation by the Cancer-Associated cag Type IV Secretion System,” with Dr. Richard Peek, Jr. in the Department of Medicine.
  • Ella Halbert (Hume-Fogg) completed her project, “Temperature and infection modulate mosquito cellular immunity in an age-dependent manner,” with Associate Professor Julian Hillyer in the Department of Biological Sciences.
  • Samuel Lee (MLK) completed his project, “Investigating Upregulated Genes Contributing to the Survival of H. pyloriUnder Host-Induced Oxidative Stress,” with Assistant Professor Holly M. Algood in the Department of Medicine.

The Regeneron Science Talent Search, founded and produced by Society for Science and the Public, is a premiere pre-collegiate science competition that began in 1942. This year, they received 1,964 applications. Only 300 were selected as semifinalists including four semifinalists from Tennessee. On Jan. 23, 40 finalists will be invited to Washington, DC to compete for the top prize.

The School for Science and Math at Vanderbilt (SSMV) is a joint venture between Vanderbilt University and Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) and offers high school students an interdisciplinary, research-centered learning experience. SSMV students competing in this year’s competition are members of the class of 2019. This class of students will be the eighth to graduate from the program. The SSMV is currently accepting applications until February 15, 2019. For more information about the program please visit

The SSMV has received funding from Vanderbilt University, Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools, the National Center for Research Resources of the National Institutes of Health, and other generous donors.

Angela Eeds
School for Science and Math at Vanderbilt
[email protected]