Focus on 2017 Regeneron Participants Brian Sang and Michael Lai
By CAROLINE CHEN
Remediation of Aqueous Organic Contaminants: Sorption Coefficient Comparison of Various b-Cyclodextrin Modified Zeolites and Unmodified Zeolite
Brian’s research is based on the removal of aqueous organic contaminants with the use of cyclodextrin, the main component of air fresheners used to remove odors.
“Cyclodextrin cannot be directly used in water, because the polymer will be dissolved and cannot be removed from water. I’ve chemically altered cyclodextrin so that it can attach to an insoluble surface, zeolites, so once you take the zeolite out of the water, you also take out the cyclodextrin. It can be used to remove organic contaminants and potentially remove dissolved methane, which can help reduce the effects of climate change,” explained Brian.
The Regeneron STS Scholar and ISWEEP Gold Medalist has “learned the most in the science research program here in Jericho” and believes that this course has well-prepared him for college. “The stress for Regeneron STS, however, is extremely tough. But we all are going to be facing that stress one time or another, so I guess you can say it’s good practice.”
Brian was the leader of the 1st Place National Lexus Eco Challenge team and 1st place winner of the WAC Lighting Invitational Science Fair, where he also won the Sustainability Award. Furthermore, Brian placed 2nd and was Top 10 in Fair at NYSSEF Andromeda and earned High Honors at LISC.
Outside of research, Brian is the VEX Robotics Team Leader of 9932E. Brian also enjoys playing basketball and is an athlete on the Varsity Cross Country and Track and Field teams.
Identification of TBX3 as a Novel Regulator of Lung Angiogenesis
A diligent and bright student, Michael views the research course as “one of the most unique courses offered in Jericho.” He added, “It taught me to think in a way that is untraditional for most students. Although rigorous, it is definitely manageable with enough hard work and determination.”
Michael’s project determined that a particular protein, TBX3, plays an important role in angiogenesis, the formation of new blood vessels from preexisting ones. “My findings will play an important role in the identification of new therapeutic targets in the process of cancer angiogenesis, while offering a molecular basis for new tissue regeneration therapies,” described Michael regarding his research.
Last year, Michael placed 1st at NYSSEF and 3rd at LISEF in the category of Biomedical and Health Sciences. He also earned The Society for In Vitro Biology Special Award, the Merit Award at the WAC Lighting Foundation Invitational Science Fair in Molecular Biology, Honors in Biology at LISC, and Honorable Mention for Toshiba ExploraVision. Furthermore, Michael was a semifinalist in the Breakthrough Junior Challenge.
Outside of research, Michael captains the boys varsity swimming and diving team and participates in Quizbowl, Debate, and BOLT. He also writes for “The Huffington Post,” acts as a literary editor for a national high school literary magazine, and volunteers at North Shore University Hospital.