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Scarsdale High School's daily online news source

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Scarsdale High School's daily online news source

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Science Research Student’s Trip to The 39th Annual Upstate New York Junior Science and Humanities Symposium at the University of Albany

Rick+Yang+presenting+his+research+at+the+39th+Annual+Upstate+New+York+Junior+Science+and+Humanities+Symposium+at+the+University+of+Albany.
Rick Yang
Rick Yang presenting his research at the 39th Annual Upstate New York Junior Science and Humanities Symposium at the University of Albany.

From February 28-29th, students in Scarsdale High School’s Science Research Program attended the 39th Annual Upstate New York Junior Science and Humanities Symposium at the University of Albany. Any sophomores and juniors interested in going to see the presentations at the conference and any seniors who qualified to present through the Westchester or Rockland Junior Science and Humanities Symposium attended the conference.

Rick Yang ’24 was the only student from SHS who qualified to present. Yang placed 2nd in the Genetics division at the Westchester Region Junior Science and Humanities Symposium, qualifying him to present a PowerPoint presentation at the 39th Annual Upstate New York Junior Science and Humanities Symposium.

For students not presenting, they were able to watch any of the wide range of presentations at the conference. “I personally went to the Biomedical section, since it correlates with my topic. I was amazed at the proficiency of the presenters in their individual topics…when our entire group came back together at the end of the day, everyone had something positive to share about what they saw,“ Anish Mehta ’26 said.

Yang’s research in the science program is titled Identifying the Metabolic Determinants of Stem Cells in Colorectal Cancer. Colorectal Cancer (CRC) is a major global health issue greatly influenced by diet. Yang’s study worked to identify the key genes that control the metabolic process in stem cells to see how those processes influenced CRC.

Through Yang’s research, 34 CRC patients’ genetic data were analyzed to find genes that act as “master switches” in stem cells and then that information was compared to health and cancer tissue.

“Overall, our insights reveal distinct metabolic behaviors of stem cells in colon tumors and identify specific targets for potential new CRC treatments. By targeting the metabolic agents of cancerous cells, this research offers hope for developing therapies that could more effectively prevent and treat colorectal cancer,” Yang stated.

To prepare for his presentation at Albany, Yang practiced thoroughly both in school and at home. “All the memorization work was done at home through read-throughs and verbal run-throughs,” Yang explained. At school, Yang went through two graded presentations during class to help him prepare for speaking in front of an audience.

“On the day of the presentation, I mentally rehearsed the backbone of my script in my head a couple of times, but for the most part, my ‘script’ was extemporaneously generated on the spot to adapt to the vibe of the audience,” Yang said. “I presented to my largest audience up to date; the room was so packed that a bunch of people just had to sit on the ground or stand in the back, so it was a little nerve-wracking but ultimately a great new experience for me.”

Yang’s extensive preparation paid off with a successful presentation.

“I was able to see Rick Yang’s presentation, and I really enjoyed it. Whether it be through his understanding of the content, his presentation ability, or the aesthetic appeal of his PowerPoint, it was very impressive,” Mehta stated.

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