SMART Students at the Junior Science & Humanities Symposium
Caddo Magnet High School students participating in the Science and Medicine Academic Research Training (SMART) program
at LSU Health Shreveport have recently been recognized at national symposiums.
Eleni Mijalis, a student at Caddo Magnet High and advisee of LSU Health Shreveport Assistant Professor of Pathology Dr. Christopher Kevil, won 3rd place in the life science/medicine category at the 50th Annual Junior Science & Humanities Symposium held earlier this month in Bethesda, MD for her presentation entitled, “H2S as a Novel Therapeutic to Inhibit Autoreactive T Cell Insulitis during Type 1 Diabetes.” Mijalis is the seventh consecutive high school student in the laboratory of Dr. Chris Kevil to advance to this symposium. She won a $4000 scholarship for her placement and will be attending Texas A&M University as a chemistry major in the fall.
"As a mentor for the SMART program, this represents a true culmination of collaborative efforts to train our local students to compete at the national level in science and medicine in the 21st century--not to forget that SMART student alumni have all gone on to wonderful things as well," said Dr. Kevil.
Also in attendance at the conference from the SMART Program: Taylor Whitaker and Keri Jankowski, mentored by LSU Health faculty Dr. Lynn Harrison and Dr. Karen Stokes, respectively. The Junior Science and Humanities Symposia program is jointly sponsored by the Academy of Applied Sciences, United States Departments of the Army, Navy, and Air Force, in cooperation with leading research universities throughout the nation.
Students were also recognized at the International Science & Engineering Fair (ISEF) in Pittsburgh, PA.
Caddo Magnet High senior Christina Collins received 3rd place and $500 cash from the American Physiological Society. She works in the Department of Pharmacology, Toxicology, and Neuroscience with Dr. Yunfeng Zhao researching a particular drug in the treatment of neuroblastoma, the most common childhood cancer. Ruth Bishop also presented at ISEF.
The Intel ISEF is the world's largest pre-college science competition. More than 1500 students from 68 countries, regions, and territories presented their independent research and competed for more than $3 million in awards.
The SMART program, which is co-sponsored by Biomedical Research Foundation and LSU Health Shreveport, pairs top local high school sciences students with faculty from LSU Health for a one-year research mentorship, earning high school science credit for their participation.