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Biology and Mathematics Research Pays Off for Iowa and Indiana Students With Siemens Competition Regional Win at University of



 Biology and Mathematics Research Pays Off for Iowa and Indiana Students With
         Siemens Competition Regional Win at University of Notre Dame

Young Scientists Gain Opportunity to Shine on National Stage

James Howe of Iowa City, Iowa, Wins Top Individual Prize; Daniel Fu and
Patrick Tan of Carmel, Indiana, Win Top Team Prize

PR Newswire

SOUTH BEND, Ind., Nov. 10, 2012

SOUTH BEND, Ind., Nov. 10, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Months of dedication and hard
work in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) paid off tonight for
three students named National Finalists in the Siemens Competition in Math,
Science & Technology, the nation's premier research competition.  Biology
research on the genetic basis of cancer earned top honors and the $3,000
Individual scholarship for James Howe of Iowa City, Iowa.  Mathematical
analysis of genetic oscillatory networks won the $6,000 Team scholarship for
Daniel Fu and Patrick Tan of Carmel, Indiana.

The students presented their research this weekend to a panel of judges from
the University of Notre Dame, host of the Region Three Finals.  They are now
invited to present their work on a national stage at the National Finals in
Washington, DC, December 1-4, 2012, where $500,000 in scholarships will be
awarded, including two top prizes of $100,000.  The Siemens Competition, a
signature program of the Siemens Foundation, is administered by the College
Board.

"These students have invested time, energy and talent in tackling challenging
scientific research at a young age," said Jeniffer Harper-Taylor, president of
the Siemens Foundation.  "The recognition they have won today demonstrates
that engagement in STEM is an investment well worth making."

The Winning Individual

James Howe, a senior at Regina High School in Iowa City, Iowa, won the
individual category and a $3,000 college scholarship for his investigation of
missense mutations in the protein BMPR1A as seen in juvenile polyposis
patients.  In his project, BMPR1A Mutations in Juvenile Polyposis Affect
Cellular Localization, James found that these mutations caused a
mislocalization of BMPR1A in cells.

"Inherited mutations that drive tumor formation predispose patients to
malignancy in adulthood. James developed a model to study known mutations in
juvenile polyposis, a disease that predisposes patients to colon cancer," said
competition judge Dr. Laurie Littlepage, Campbell Family Assistant Professor
of Cancer Research, the University of Notre Dame and the Harper Cancer
Research Institute.  "His research is foundational to understanding the nature
of this gene in a pre-diagnostic cancer context.  It demonstrated a mechanism
(i.e. protein localization) by which a single mutation can drive catastrophic
consequences in the cell."

James enjoys playing football, participating in his school's debate team and
Key Club, and tutoring his schoolmates in math and science.  He plans on
majoring in biology or biochemistry and would like to become a doctor.  His
mentor was Dr. James Howe, Director of Surgical Oncology, University of Iowa.

The Winning Team

Daniel Fu, a junior at Park Tudor School in Indianapolis, Indiana, and Patrick
Tan, a junior at Carmel High School in Carmel, Indiana, won the team category
and will share a $6,000 scholarship for their project Chaos and Robustness in
a Single Family of Genetic Oscillatory Networks, an investigation of new
techniques for mathematically analyzing genetic oscillatory networks. 

The team's research could lead to better treatments for diseases with
irregularities in the cell cycle, such as cancer, or the circadian rhythm,
such as sleep disorders.  Daniel and Patrick's inspiration came from the movie
Inception, which explores the mysteries of sleep. 

"Daniel and Patrick developed an original technique and made progress in the
mathematical understanding of delayed differential equations, which help
understand the cyclical biological behavior such as exhibited in sleep and
cancer," said competition judge Dr. Matthew Dyer, Associate Professor of
Mathematics, Department of Mathematics, the University of Notre Dame.  "The
team showed creativity in combining pure and applied mathematics and making
extensive use of computer calculations."  

Daniel is a member of USA Computing Olympiad Silver Division and won fourth
place in the American Chemistry Society exam, Indiana section.  He is
secretary of the student council, editor of his school newspaper and junior
editor of the literary art magazine.  He volunteers in cancer clinics and
mentors other students in STEM.  Daniel is considering a major in computer
science or political science and hopes to either be a research professor or
politician.  In the near future, he is most excited about attending The Hague
International Model United Nations in the Netherlands.

Patrick is secretary of Key Club, president of Chemistry Club and a member of
Top Symphonic Band.  He volunteers with Habitats for Humanity and runs cross
country.  He is especially proud of co-founding the DPY Math Contest for
middle school students, which helps prepare them for the MATHCOUNTS
competition.  Patrick plans to study biochemistry, applied mathematics and
finance in college and aspires to have a career where he can combine math and
science with his desire to help people.

The team was mentored by Dr. Alexey Kuznetsov and Dr. Yaroslav Molkov, Indiana
University-Purdue University Indianapolis.

Regional Finalists

The remaining regional finalists each received a $1,000 scholarship.  Regional
Finalists in the individual category were:

  o Gurbani Kaur, Copley, Ohio
  o Caleb Kumar, Blaine, Minnesota
  o Gregory Parker, Okemos, Michigan
  o Sohil Shah, Madison, Wisconsin

Team Regional Finalists were:

  o Marc Bouchet and Sarah Posner, Evanston, Illinois
  o Atreyo Ghosh and Katelyn Race, Columbia, Missouri
  o Nidhi Khurana and Raj Satpathy, Columbia, Missouri
  o Yu Tang and Guangning An, Troy, Michigan

The Siemens Competition 
Launched in 1998, the Siemens Competition is the nation's premier science
research competition for high school students.  2,255 students registered to
enter the Siemens Competition this year for a total 1,504 projects submitted. 
323 students were named semifinalists and 93 were named regional finalists,
representing 25 states.  Entries are judged at the regional level by esteemed
scientists at six leading research universities which host the regional
competitions:  California Institute of Technology, Carnegie Mellon University,
Georgia Institute of Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology,
University of Notre Dame and The University of Texas at Austin.

Follow us on the road to the Siemens Competition:  Follow us on Twitter
@SFoundation (#SiemensComp) and like us on Facebook at SiemensFoundation. 
Then visit www.siemens-foundation.org at 9:30am EST on December 4 for a live
webcast of the National Finalist Awards Presentation.

The Siemens Foundation 
The Siemens Foundation provides more than $7 million annually in support of
educational initiatives in the areas of science, technology, engineering and
mathematics (STEM) in the United States. Its signature programs include the
Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology, Siemens Awards for Advanced
Placement, and The Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge, which encourages
K-12 students to develop innovative green solutions for environmental issues. 
By supporting outstanding students today, and recognizing the teachers and
schools that inspire their excellence, the Foundation helps nurture tomorrow's
scientists and engineers.  The Foundation's mission is based on the culture of
innovation, research and educational support that is the hallmark of Siemens'
U.S. companies and its parent company, Siemens AG.  For more information,
visit www.siemens-foundation.org.

The College Board 
The College Board is a mission-driven not-for-profit organization that
connects students to college success and opportunity. Founded in 1900, the
College Board was created to expand access to higher education. Today, the
membership association is made up of more than 6,000 of the world's leading
educational institutions and is dedicated to promoting excellence and equity
in education. Each year, the College Board helps more than seven million
students prepare for a successful transition to college through programs and
services in college readiness and college success — including the SAT^® and
the Advanced Placement Program^®. The organization also serves the education
community through research and advocacy on behalf of students, educators and
schools.  For further information, visit www.collegeboard.org.

Video and photos of winners available on request.

 

 

SOURCE The Siemens Foundation

Website: http://www.siemens-foundation.org
Contact: Kiesha Boykins, Siemens Foundation, +1-732-321-3150,
kiesha.boykins@siemens.com; or Sue Dorn, Momentum Communications Group,
+1-914-924-7811, sdorn@momentum-cg.com
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