NEW YORK, Dec. 3 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Girls swept the top prizes in America's premier high school science competition for the first time in its nine-year history today as Isha Jain and the team of Janelle Schlossberger and Amanda Marinoff were named $100,000 Grand Prize winners in the 2007-08 Siemens Competition in Math, Science and Technology. The prestigious Siemens Competition, a signature program of the Siemens Foundation, is administered by the College Board. The ninth annual awards were presented this morning at New York University, host of the Siemens Competition National Finals. Isha Jain, a senior at Freedom High School in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, won the $100,000 scholarship in the individual category for research on bone growth. Janelle Schlossberger and Amanda Marinoff, seniors at Plainview-Old Bethpage John F. Kennedy High School in Plainview, New York, won the $100,000 prize in the team category, which they will share equally, for research on tuberculosis. These science superstars will ring The Closing Bell(TM) at the New York Stock Exchange in February. "These students have climbed the Mount Everest of science competitions and reached the summit," said Thomas McCausland, Chairman of the Siemens Foundation. "With all the challenges facing our world today, it is heartening to know these remarkable young people are working on the solutions." The national finals were judged by a panel of nationally renowned scientists and mathematicians headed by lead judge Dr. Joseph Taylor, winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics and James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor of Physics, Emeritus, Princeton University. Twenty national finalists competed in the national finals, including six individuals and six teams. The finalists previously competed in a series of regional competitions held at six leading research universities in November. The Winning Projects Isha Himani Jain won the top prize and a $100,000 college scholarship for research on zebra fish bone growth that adds a new dimension to our understanding of human bone growth and our ability to treat bone injuries and disorders. Ms. Jain's project is entitled, Bone Growth in Zebra Fish Fins Occurs via Multiple Pulses of Cell Proliferation. "Scientists and parents alike know that growth is not linear but occurs in spurts," said Stephen J. Moorman, Associate Professor, Neuroscience and Cell Biology, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, a competition judge. "Ms. Jain is the first to identify mini spurts, a cellular mechanism that underlies growth spurts on a molecular level. This is graduate level work." Ms. Jain's research has been published in Developmental Dynamics, a premier journal in the field of developmental biology. She is a member of the Endocrine Society, American Physiological Society and American Ceramic Society. Her mother's dedication to the medical profession sparked her interest in clinical research, while her father's global research work raised her awareness of the importance of science. Her hobbies include Indian classical and modern dance, soccer, skiing, and jewelry making. She plans to study biology and mathematics and aspires to lead a lab focused in these disciplines. Ms. Jain's mentors were M. Kathryn Iovine, Assistant Professor, and Jake Fugazzatto, Lab Technician, Biology Department, Lehigh University; and Ms. Linda Frederick, Science Teacher, Freedom High School. Janelle Schlossberger and Amanda Marinoff won the team category and will share a $100,000 scholarship for a drug discovery project that could lead to the first new tuberculosis treatment in 35 years. Their project is entitled, FtsZ Inhibitors as Novel Chemotherapeutic Agents for Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis. "Tuberculosis is the number one bacterial killer in the world, with ten million new cases every year," said Dr. Scott Franzblau, Professor and Director of the Institute for Tuberculosis Research at the University of Illinois at Chicago, a competition judge. "Yet there have been no new drugs to treat TB in the last 35 years. These students synthesized new compounds to kill tuberculosis by targeting a specific protein that could lead to a new treatment for drug-resistant TB." Ms. Schlossberger is president of her school's Science Honor Society, editor-in-chief of a district-wide literary and art magazine, and a member of Science Olympiad and French Honor Society. An accomplished violinist and pianist, she was a finalist in the DuPont Challenge Science Essay Competition. Ms. Schlossberger is proficient in French and plans to study physics in college. Ms. Marinoff is editor-in-chief of her school newspaper and a member of the National Honor Society, French Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society, Science Olympiad and Increase the Peace. She volunteers at an after-school program for autistic children. Ms. Marinoff plans to study biology and French in college and aspires to become a doctor with Doctors Without Borders. The team was mentored by Dr. Iwao Ojima, Distinguished Professor and Director for the Institute of Chemical Biology and Drug Discovery, Chemistry Department; Kunal Kumar, Graduate Student; Dr. Bela Ruzsicska, Director of the Analytical Instrumentation Laboratory; and Ilaria Zanardi, Senior Research Support Specialist, SUNY Stony Brook.
The other national winners of the 2007-08 Siemens Competition were: Individuals -- $50,000 scholarship - Alicia Darnell of Pelham, New York -- $40,000 scholarship - Jacob Steinhardt of Vienna, Virginia -- $30,000 scholarship - Ayon Sen of Austin, Texas -- $20,000 scholarship - Nandini Sarma of Overland Park, Kansas -- $10,000 scholarship - Alexander C. Huang of Plano, Texas Teams -- $50,000 scholarship - Vivek Bhattacharya of Cary, North Carolina, and Hao Lian and Daniel Vitek of Raleigh, North Carolina -- $40,000 scholarship - Camden Miller of Fairview, Texas, and John Chen of Richardson, Texas -- $30,000 scholarship - Christopher Ding of Rochester, Michigan, and James Jiang of Troy, Michigan -- $20,000 scholarship - Caroline Lang of Yardley, Pennsylvania, Rebecca Ehrhardt of Hamilton Square, New Jersey, and Naomi Collipp of Yardley, Pennsylvania -- $10,000 scholarship - Sarah Waliany and Shelina Kurwa of Arcadia, California The Siemens Competition The Siemens Competition was launched in 1998 to recognize America's best and brightest math and science students. This year, 1,641 students registered to enter the competition with a record number of projects submitted, including a 9% increase in team projects. 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. The Siemens Foundation The Siemens Foundation, established in 1998, is a national leader in math and science education, providing more than $2 million in scholarships and awards annually. Based in Iselin, New Jersey, the Foundation's signature programs - the Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology, the Siemens Awards for Advanced Placement, and the Siemens Teacher Scholarships - recognize exceptional achievement in science, math and technology. 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. operating companies and its parent company, Siemens AG. For more information, please visit www.siemens-foundation.org. The College Board The College Board is a not-for-profit membership association whose mission is to connect students to college success and opportunity. Founded in 1900, the association is composed of more than 5,200 schools, colleges, universities, and other educational organizations. Each year, the College Board serves seven million students and their parents, 23,000 high schools, and 3,500 colleges through major programs and services in college admissions, guidance, assessment, financial aid, enrollment, and teaching and learning. Among its best-known programs are the SAT(R), the PSAT/NMSQT(R), and the Advanced Placement Program(R) (AP(R)). The College Board is committed to the principles of excellence and equity, and that commitment is embodied in all of its programs, services, activities, and concerns. For further information, visit www.collegeboard.com.
SOURCE The Siemens Foundation