GHS sophomore receives Intel ISEF Grand Award

Greenwich High School (GHS) sophomore Rahul Subramaniam received first place in the Microbiology category, a $3,000 award and Best in Category, a $5,000 award, from among about 1,800 students from around the world at the 2017 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) on Friday, May 19. In addition, Rahul was one of the Best in Category winners that received a Grand Award, the Intel Indo-US Science & Technology Visit to India Award, a two-week, all expense paid trip to India to attend a science and technology immersion program.

Rahul Subramaniam’s project is an Early Warning System for Zika Virus in Mosquito Populations Based on Real-Time Field Detection of Viral RNA in Mosquito Saliva – Rahul created an inexpensive and consumer-friendly mosquito trap with a food-source that would change color (in ~30min) if any of the (feeding) mosquitoes were infected with Zika. Rahul is the first known researcher in literature to detect mosquito saliva in a live trap; this enabled him to detect Zika virus in that saliva in a field trap, that can be used as the initial basis for quarantine of an area that contains Zika-infected mosquitoes, before anyone gets infected.

This year, a GHS record seven students won awards to attend the Intel ISEF in Los Angeles, Calif., May 14-19 based on their standings at the 2017 Connecticut STEM Fair and the 2017 Connecticut Science and Engineering Fair.

Luca Barceló received an Intel ISEF second place award in the Environmental Engineering category ($1500), and was awarded a $48,000 scholarship to the University of Arizona for his project — Crowd-Sourced Detection and Mapping of Nitrate Water Pollutants via a Mobile Web-Based Image Analysis System. Luca wrote a combined Smart-Phone — computer based app that can detect Nitrate pollutants in water, in real time, based on a Smartphone photograph.  This pollution data can then be posted, along with the GPS coordinates, to create a “crowd-sourcing” map of water pollution, so that avoidance and/or clean up can be planned. 

Shobhita Sundaram received an Intel ISEF fourth place award in the Cellular and Molecular Biology category ($500), and also received a $1000 Special Award from NSA for her project — Detection of Premalignant Pancreatic Cancer via Computational Analysis of Serum Proteomic Profiles. Shobhita developed a software algorithm that can examine mass spectroscopy data of a patient’s blood, prior to the onset of any signs of pancreatic cancer, and based on inter-related presence of protein biomarkers, can predict whether that person will eventually develop pancreatic cancer.  The application of her algorithm for pre-diagnosis of this otherwise (often) deadly disease represents a major breakthrough for pre-testing of those with a family history or suspicion of the disease, as curative surgery in the disease’s early stages is often successful.

Four additional Greenwich High School students were awarded the opportunity to participate in the 2017 Intel ISEF to present their projects:

  • Agustina Stefani: Carbon Capture and Storage via Silver Nanoparticle Catalyzed Hydration of Carbon Dioxide.
  • Connor Li: Optimization of Vertically Aligned Boron Nitride Nanotube Membranes via Magnetic Arrangement in a Lyotropic Precursor for Water Transport Applications.
  • Michelle Xiong: Development of a CNT/ZnO/TiO2 Membrane for Visible-Light Induced Photocatalytic Filtration of Water-Borne Organic and Bacterial Pollutants.
  • Ethan Novek: Novel Low-Temperature Carbon Capture Using Aqueous Ammonia and Organic Solvents.

Each of the seven Greenwich High School 2017 Intel ISEF students is to be congratulated for their innovative, award-winning discoveries. They conduct their research as part of the Greenwich High School Science Research course led by teacher/advisor Andrew Bramante.

GHS sophomore Rahul Subramaniam

GHS sophomore Rahul Subramaniam

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