Kennedy’s Jennifer Rakhimov Named Neuroscience Research Finalist

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Jennifer Rakhimov, a senior at Kennedy High School, has been selected as one of the top finalists for the 2017 Neuroscience Research Prize on behalf of the American Academy of Neurology.  

Rakhimov’s project abstract, Mitochondrial Replacement Therapy in Degenerated Retinal Pigment Epithelial Cells, was determined to be among the 15 best from a record number of entries submitted by students throughout the United States.

After her grandmother passed away while awaiting a liver transplant for the second time, Rakhimov said she became inspired “to find an alternative to organ transplants; to regenerate organs instead.”

“I decided to study particularly in the ocular region because of the background knowledge I obtained at my father’s optometry business,” she added. “The eye is just one organ. Maybe I can amplify my research into other organs as well.”

Her research is currently under the next review stage.

“She has blossomed tremendously since sophomore year in the Advanced Science Research program,” said teacher Barbi Frank. “She is consumed by science and is always finding a new way to look at something.”

This award was established to identify and reward high school students whose scientific skill and talent indicate potential for scientific contributions in the field of neuroscience. Four finalists will each receive a $1,000 prize and the top three will travel to the AAN conference in Boston, Massachusetts next April.

Overall, Rakhimov said her “goal is just to improve every day.”