This story was originally posted online in March 2009.
The fourth annual science research symposium, “New Frontiers,” attracted more than 300 people to Nichols Hall on March 21. A record number of participants authored 22 upper school papers, including seven students who qualified as Intel or Siemens semifinalists or JSHS regional finalists, as well as 20 middle school and 17 upper school poster presentations.
This year’s event featured two keynote speakers. Nimet Maherali, Ph.D. candidate at Harvard University Center for Regenerative Medicine and Cancer, presented “Cellular Alchemy and the Making of a Research Scientist.” Dr. Andrew Chan, senior vice president of immunology and antibody engineering at Genentech addressed guests regarding “Science, Biotechnology and Medicine in the 21st Century.”
Alfred Pokmeng See ’04 was one of two alumni who presented via video conference. See discussed “STAT3 Immunomodulation in the Malignancy of Glioblastoma” based on his research at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Department of Oncology. From Princeton University, Nikhil Deshmukh ’04 discussed “Using Virtual Reality to Examine Neural Dynamics in the Spatial Navigation of the Mouse.”
Sponsors for this year’s event were Roche, Fortebio, Hunter Labs, Nanosyn, Pearl Therapeutics, Relypsa and Health Hero Network/Bosch. Upper school biology teacher and science department chair Anita Chetty began organizing the symposium when, “we noticed our students were finding research opportunities all over the world and then graduating and we didn’t know what they had done.” The event is modeled after a typical professional symposium which allows for sharing of ideas in a noncompetitive setting.
The 2009 symposium was dedicated to Howard Nichols who, in Chetty’s words, “Charted many seas and blazed his own trails, along the way inspiring all of us to dream and explore.”