Two Students Named Regeneron Scholars

Sarah Koljaka '19 of Branford, Conn., and Se Ri Lee '19 of Seoul, Korea, have been named Semifinalists in the 78th Regeneron Science Talent Search, the nation's oldest and most prestigious science and mathematics competition for high school seniors. Each year, 300 Regeneron STS scholars and their schools are recognized.

Both Scholars are members of Choate's Science Research Program. Sarah's research, conducted at Günel Laboratory at the Yale School of Medicine, focuses on a type of brain cancer called meningioma and how interactions between certain proteins can affect its development. She identified two drugs that alter the genetic expression and decrease the survival rate of the cancer cells.

Se Ri's research project was largely aimed at solving water scarcity, a crisis that, if unsolved, will soon propagate to all parts of the world. Using a technique called interfacial polymerization, she fabricated membranes for reverse osmosis desalination. The exact mechanism by which this technique works is currently unknown. Se Ri and her mentors worked to vary the setup and procedure to test out different ingredients to create the optimal membrane.

Each student will receive $2,000, and Choate will also receive $2,000 per scholar to use toward STEM-related activities. Sarah and Se Ria now head toward the finalist round. The top 40 Finalists will be announced on Wednesday, January 23.