CHAPPAQUA, N.Y. -- Two Horace Greeley High School students are at the top of their class.
Emily Lo and Jack Lin were named Siemens semifinalists. Lo's project was about the evasion of antiviral immune response by the Zika virus while Lin studied a drug that slows osteoarthritis progression in a rat model of post-traumatic osteoarthritis.
Lo said she was interested in microbiology and immunology since she has a younger brother with severe food allergies. She got accepted into a science research program with a professor who studies mosquito-transmitted viruses.
"I was interested in exploring interactions between pathogens and the host defense, comprehending the workings of the immune system from a different angle," Lo said.
In studying the Zika virus, Lo's aim was to identify whether specific proteins in the Zika virus genome could inhibit the human RIG-I-like receptor signaling pathway.
Lo said she hopes to continue to study microbiology and immunology in college.
Lin said he wants to study osteoarthritis to help the 27 million Americans who suffer from the disease.
I wanted to play an active role in helping people live longer and healthier lives," Lin said. "I have always been interested in biology and medicine, and research in osteoarthritis has allowed me to utilize my knowledge in these subject areas."
Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease characterized by the destruction of articular cartilage and causes joint stiffness, pain, and loss of mobility. There is currently no cure or therapy that can slow or arrest the progression of osteoarthritis.
Lin studied a new drug which targets osteoarthritis pathways by decreasing inflammation and reducing catabolism from proteolytic enzymes.
"I found that this drug slows osteoarthritis progression in moderate stages of established osteoarthritis," Lin said. "These findings provide sound rationale for advancing Drug N toward clinical trials."
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