Congratulations North Shore High School senior, Mary Sotiryadis, who was named a 2020 Regeneron ISEF Finalist. Mary spent her entire summer in a lab at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City working behind a hood to protect the precious cells that she was experimenting on. Each day she checked to make sure they were healthy and regularly provided the cells with all the nutrients they needed to thrive.
These cells would be the key to unraveling the role of blood components in patients suffering from chronic inflammation. By the end of the summer, Mary had discovered the major protein responsible for tissue damage during the inflammatory response. Her findings can lead to major drug discoveries for disorders such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis. In early April, Mary presented her project virtually in the New York State Science and Engineering Fair (NYSSEF).
After making it through the first round, she was invited to compete in a "lightening round" where a panel of professional scientists questioned her on the details of her research project and its implications. Ultimately, her work was named a top project in her category Biomedical Engineering and Heath Sciences- and has earned her a spot in the International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF). Each year Regeneron ISEF hosts approximately 1,800 students that have advanced from their regional fairs in over 75 different countries or territories. Students are awarded nearly $5 million dollars in prize money to the top 600 teams and individuals, including a top prize of $75,000. Special awards are also distributed for scholarships, summer internships, scientific trips or equipment.
Unfortunately, this year's all-expense paid ISEF trip to Anaheim, California, scheduled for May has been canceled due to COVID-19. Although Mary currently awaits news regarding her prizes, she has received her biggest reward that includes helping the medical community with a major discovery and an overall incredible research experience. Mary said, “I have not only had the opportunity to explore a new and exciting field of science, but have also learned a lot about myself and how to work hard and be responsible.” Dr. Molly Mordechai, North Shore High School Science Research Teacher said, “I am extremely proud of Mary's accomplishment. She is an intelligent and hardworking student who truly deserves this recognition. North Shore High School is very proud of Mary's success and we are all very excited to see what is in store for her next!”