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MD Students Compete in National Regeneron Science Competition

Chy Murali from Centennial High School in Ellicott City presents her research for the Regeneron Science Talent Search. (Chy Murali)
Chy Murali from Centennial High School in Ellicott City presents her research for the Regeneron Science Talent Search. (Chy Murali)
March 12, 2018

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — While many high school students are still learning how to properly fold laundry, 40 of the smartest students in the nation are in Washington, D.C., this week to show off their achievements and compete in science and math.

The Regeneron Science Talent Search, one of the nation's oldest and most notable competitions for young scientists, started in 1942. Last year, Regeneron increased the amount of prize money for contestants - with more than $1.8 million in prizes, including $250,000 in scholarships to the grand prize winner.

Chy Murali, a senior at Centennial High School in Ellicott City, is one of the lucky finalists.

"I've been passionate about science and trying to solve the problems in the world since a long time ago,” Murali said. “And the Regeneron competition was a way I could show my work to others and get feedback on it"

The event, which begins Monday, is very generous to its winners, giving $175,000 in awards to the second-place finisher and $150,000 to third place. Outside the top ten, each student will receive at least $25,000 in awards.

The projects that students submit to get to the Regeneron Science Talent Search are innovative in the science world. From a smart microwave that can heat food to the perfect temperature to a form of artificial intelligence that detects gender bias on social media, the students' research tackles a wide range of issues.

Murali's research includes experiments targeting leukemic cancers using immunotherapy.

"I modified a component of our immune system, known as the natural killer cell, to target cancer more efficiently and in a more controlled manner in comparison to the current commercial immunotherapies that are available," she explained.

Murali is one of three students representing Maryland in the Regeneron Science Talent Search. She said solving problems is just something that takes a lot of effort and persistence, and she enjoys the process.

Trimmel Gomes, Public News Service - MD