Calhoun Duo Awarded Science Research Grants

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Two students in Calhoun High School’s Advanced Science Research program were recipients of a $200 research grant each for their recent research proposals.

Courtney Lange, 18, and Amelia Seabold, 17, both of Merrick, were awarded $200 NYIT Mini Research Grants.

“The Life Sciences faculty review committee has determined your submission to have scientific merit and potential impact, and we are confident your studies will contribute to the field of science and technology,” stated the grant award letters.

Lange’s research, The Poweroff Study, delves into how a common natural dietary supplement affects sleep quality. Her study is being conducted at NYU Langone.

“Sleep quality is something that affects everyone,” Lange said of her research. “I wanted to learn more through the study, which is currently in the recruitment phase.” 

Her thesis is that the dietary supplement will have a positive effect on sleep quality.
“I was impressed with her drive and passion for the field of psychology,” said said Jennifer Pefanis, director of the school’s Advanced Science Research program. “Courtney has had the opportunity to get her feet wet with several different studies over the summer and school year, gaining much experience.”

Seabold, the Class of 2018 salutatorian, researched patients with the autoimmune disease ANCA vasculitis and their overproduction of a certain protein. 

“I used a gene editing technology to lower the production of this protein by mutating the gene that causes its transcription,” Seabold explained. “It’s so amazing to be able to change someone’s genetic make up. That can be used for so many therapeutic benefits.”

“Amelia is one of the most driven students that I have ever worked with. She has displayed true grit through her passion and perseverance for her research project,” added Pefanis.

For the past two summers, Seabold has traveled to North Carolina to conduct necessary research at UNC Chapel Hill.

“Amelia takes on a lot of challenges, but never accepts a challenge without seeing it through to the end,” added Pefanis.

ASR students have already begun the arduous task of transforming their research papers into a PowerPoint, creating a poster board, and presenting on their topic at both local and regional research competitions.

“This grant has allowed the Advanced Science Research Program at Calhoun High School to help fund the printing and presenting of our research projects at our local and regional science research competitions,” added Pefanis.