Member Spotlight

Senior Harshu Pande has been working on a computational Covid-19 vaccine related research project with the assistance of some professors at UT Health Science Center.

Harshu recently entered in a competition held by the National Society of High School Scholars called the Be More-A-Thon. The NSHSS is a community of driven individuals who believe that enough is never enough. It is a network of over 1.7 million lifetime members from across the globe who believe in being the next agents of change and the next thought leaders, and the Be more fund celebrates and provides seed money for those change agents.

Harshu competed with students across the nation
in a two-day, virtual gathering featuring a panel of judges and mentors who helped the competing finalists hone and polish their presentation pitches to better their chances of earning one of the ten, $10,000 grants. Harshu advanced to the final round where he had to give a live pitch about funding his research project. 

Harshu won the competition and have been awarded a $10,000 grant that will be now utilized to conduct some important experiments of his project like raising antibodies etc. that can ultimately help develop more efficacious and safe vaccine candidates against Covid. 

On the left, you can see a snapshot of Harshu's project.

Harshu was also recently featured on WREG Live at 9 discussing his project.
 

Senior Saksham Saksena recently presented a poster at the prestigious MIT Undergraduate Research Technology Conference. 

The death of his uncle due to undetected kidney cancer led Saksham to study screening processes and cell identification with ultrasounds over the summer.

During his project, he discovered some screening tests are invasive and people avoid the exam, so he wanted to find a way to detect cancer cells through a noninvasive measure. He used yeast colonies as surrogates for cell bundles and would use ultrasound sensors to find different "cell" sizes which could potentially help lead to a universal test for cancer.

You can read more about Saksham and his research in this profile piece from the Commercial Appeal.

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Honors Academy students may remember contributing funds to a school supply drive organized by Jack Roberts in August and volunteering to distribute those supplies in September. 

Jack raised $3000 for this effort, purchased 150 supply boxes from Knowledge Tree, and organized a group of Honors Academy students to assemble and distribute the supply boxes. The organizers were so impressed with how hard the volunteers work and how passionate our Honors Academy students were about giving back to the community.

Jack's hard work was recognized by the Choose901 blog with a great post about his project. Congratulations, Jack!