Ana Acevedo (left) and Melanie Anaya (right)

NRHS Students Advance to State Science Competition

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NEW ROCHELLE, NY — Two New Rochelle High School students are making a name for themselves in science research, winning recognition among their peers and advancing to the Upstate Junior Science and Humanities Symposia competition on March 7 at SUNY Albany.

Melanie Anaya and Ana Acevedo, both seniors, competed with over 500 students in the Westchester-Rockland Division of the Junior Science and Humanities Symposia (JSHS), a program designed to challenge and engage students grades 9 through 12 in science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM). Both placed fourth in the competition.

Andrew Sorota, a junior, won the Display Poster competition for his research participation in the NASA Twin Study, a unique investigation into how stressful spaceflight is to the body.

Last week’s competition was the first time the New Rochelle school district participated in JSHS under the guidance of their science research teacher, Jeff Wuebber.

“I’m very excited that our program is growing and becoming more successful,” said Wuebber. “Ana and Melanie are great examples of hard work paying off.”

Acevedo, who was selected to the prestigious Bezos Scholar Program last year, made a presentation on the upstream target regulation of miR-34 in response to global ischemia, which focuses on factors preventing neuronal death due to a stroke. She plans to study neurology and sociology in college.

Anaya presented her research on neutrophil-endothelium interactions in metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome patients lack the biological mechanisms that healthy patients have to allow the body to heal after a heart attack or any other type of ischemia, and her research focused on treatments to restore this mechanism. She plans to focus on biochemistry and Latin American studies in college.

The JSHS is a collaborative effort with the research arm of the Department of Defense and administered in cooperation with nationwide colleges and universities. Individual students compete for scholarships and recognition by presenting the results of their original research efforts before a panel of judges and an audience of their peers.