High school student’s exosome project earns a finalist position in the Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology



National Finalists in the Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology is the nation’s premier science research competition for high school students and seeks to promote excellence by encouraging students to undertake individual or team research projects. For more information go to: www.siemens-foundation.org

The top regional winners are now moving on to the final phase of the Siemens Competition to present their work at the National Finals in Washington, D.C., December 5-6, 2016, where $500,000 in scholarships will be awarded, including two top prizes of $100,000.

The students presented their research this weekend to a panel of judges at the Georgia Institute of Technology, host of the Region Six Finals.

“These student projects are evidence of great teaching in our schools today,” said David Etzwiler, CEO of the Siemens Foundation. “These are high school students presenting advanced research that is helping to solve real problems. That’s pretty amazing.”

The Siemens Competition, launched in 1999 by the Siemens Foundation, was established to increase access to higher education for students who are gifted in STEM and is based on the culture of innovation, research and educational support that is the hallmark of Siemens. This competition, administered by Discovery Education, seeks to recognize and hopefully build a strong pipeline for the nation’s most promising scientists, engineers and mathematicians.

The Winning Individual for Region Six

Alexander Kirov, a senior from Greenbrier High School in Evans, GA, won the individual category and a $3,000 scholarship for his project entitled, “Exosomes in Amyloid Aggregates Promote Neuronal Damage: A Mechanism of Alzheimer’s Pathology.”

Alexander’s project focused on the cellular triggers of Alzheimer’s disease, which is characterized by progressive neuronal loss in the brain that leads to thinking, memory and behavioral disorders, and is ultimately fatal. Today, one out of 10 Americans age 65 and older is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and the number of patients with the disease is rising at an astounding rate. Alexander hopes his research can contribute to reversing this trend.

“Alexander discovered an interesting and novel link between exosomes – the tiny fluid-filled vesicles or sacs released by many cells – and the progression of Alzheimer’s disease,” said competition judge Dr. Fredrik Vannberg, Assistant Professor of Biology at the Georgia Institute of Technology. “His findings identify new pathways for treating Alzheimer’s that could potentially prevent the disease from developing or slow its progression in patients.”

Alexander aspires to have a research career in the biomedical sciences. As captain of his school’s Science Bowl and math teams, he sees himself as a young leader in STEM. Alexander has competed in numerous science and math competitions, including the US National Chemistry Olympiad as a top nine scorer in his region of over 300 participants. Alexander hopes to study in an MD/PhD program after he completes college.

Alexander Kirov’s mentor is Dr. Erhard Bieberich of the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University.

Source – Businesswire

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