Academics Students

LHWHS Students Graduate from 2016 STARS Program

The students posed for a group photo.

This year, six Ladue Horton Watkins High School students graduated from the 2016 STARS Program (Students and Teachers as Research Scientists), a six-week precollegiate research program held over the summer!

The students include: Philip Bell Adams (11), Cindy Geng (11), Matan Gabriel Gottesman (11), Anhthi Hoang Luong (11), Nisha Ayesha Naseer (11) and Alexandra Lee Rice (11).

The program was held at the University of Missouri—St. Louis from Jun 13 to July 22. About 90 students from area schools worked with more than 60 local scientists from fields such as biology, chemistry, computer science, earth science, engineering, environmental science, mathematics, medicine, physics and psychology. The program runs six weeks and offers high school students an opportunity to gain some undergraduate-level research experience.

Over the course of the program, the six Ladue Schools students synthesized their work into research papers. The papers include:

  • “Synchronization Patterns on Multi-Electrode Arrays of Oscillatory Copper Dissolution Reactions” by Philip Adams, with the assistance and guidance of Dr. Istvan Kiss, Saint Louis University
  • “Evaluating the Potential Role of MEK 1/2 as a TAK1 Inhibitor Off-target in the Suppression of Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition” by Cindy Geng, with the assistance and guidance of Dr. Barry Burnette, Confluence Life Sciences
  • “Search for HPGD and SLC02A1 Mutations in Two Patients Diagnosed with Pachydermoperiostosis” by Matan Gottesman, with the assistance and guidance of Dr. Steven Mumm, Washington University School of Medicine
  • “Influence of Pacifier Use on the Effectiveness of Feeding in Newborns within the First Few Days of Life” by Anhthi Luong, with the assistance and guidance of Dr. Roberta Pineda, Washington University
  • “A Comparison of Clara Cell Markers in Adult and Neonatal Lungs during Respiratory Viral Infection” by Nisha Naseer, with the assistance and guidance of Dr. Laurie Shornick, Saint Louis University
  • “Assessing the Differences in Short-Term Memory Learning Capacities in Experimentally-Evolved Populations of Drosophila melanogaster” by Alexandra Rice, with the assistance and guidance of Dr. Aimee Dunlap, University of Missouri-St. Louis

The mentors are top researchers from Array Bridge Inc., Confluence Discovery Technologies, the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, Saint Louis University, Washington University in St. Louis and the host institution, UMSL.

Recently, Cindy, Nisha and Alexandra Rice won the Partnership of Research Institution’s Award for Excellence in Research for their work completed this summer with Dr. Barry Burnette, Senior Scientist, Confluence Life Sciences, Dr. Laurie Shornick, Associate Professor, Saint Louis University, and Dr. Aimee Dunlap, Assistant Professor, University of Missouri-St. Louis, respectively.

Research papers were reviewed by a panel of experts from Monsanto, Confluence Life Science, Cortex, SIU-Edwardsville, and the University of Missouri-St. Louis. The reviewers looked for overall quality based on standards the scientific community uses to determine worthiness for formal publications.

STARS is sponsored the Office of the Chancellor at UMSL, SLU, WUSTL, St. Louis Symphony, DuPont, Monsanto, Missouri Botanical Garden, Academy of Science of St. Louis, Easter Seal Midwest, St. Louis Children’s Hospital, St. Louis Zoo, St. Louis Symphony, University of Missouri–Kansas City, John Burroughs School and Boeing Co.