North Shore senior a finalist in prestigious Regeneron science fair

North Shore senior a finalist in prestigious Regeneron science fair
North Shore High School senior Mary Sotiryadis, was named a finalist in the 2020 Regeneron ISEF compeititon. (Photo courtesy of Mary Mordechai)

A student at North Shore High School in Glen Head has been honored by the noted pharmaceutical company Regeneron as a finalist in its 2020 International Science and Engineering Fair.

Senior Mary Sotiryadis of Glen Head spent her entire summer in a lab at the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan, working on unraveling the role of blood components in patients suffering from chronic inflammation. By the end of the summer, Sotiryadis had discovered the major protein responsible for tissue damage during the inflammatory response. Her findings have the potential to lead toward major drug discoveries for disorders such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis.

In early April, Sotiryadis presented her project virtually in the New York State Science and Engineering Fair’s Biomedical Engineering and Heath Sciences category, and after making it through the first round, was invited to give her presentation before a panel of professional scientists who questioned her on the details of her research and its implications.

Ultimately, the student’s work was named a top project in her category and earned her a spot in the international fair, sponsored by Regeneron.

Molly Mordechai, North Shore High School’s instructor in science research classes, said she was “extremely proud” of the accomplishment.

“[Sotiryadis] is an intelligent and hardworking student who truly deserves this recognition,” Mordechai said in a statement. “North Shore High School is very proud of Mary’s success and we are all very excited to see what is in store for her next.”

The spot at the fair, which is run by the Society for Science and the Public, makes Sotiryadis one of approximately 1,800 students  who have advanced from their regional fairs in over 75 different countries or territories throughout the globe. Nearly $5 million in prize money is awarded every year to the top 600 teams and individuals, including a top prize of $75,000. Special awards are also distributed for scholarships, summer internships, scientific trips or equipment.

The customary all-expense-paid trip to Anaheim, Calif., for the fair, originally scheduled in May, was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, and Regeneron opted against postponing it to a future date or holding a virtual fair, though prizes will be awarded to the students. 

Sotiryadis is awaiting news of her awarded amount. 

“I have not only had the opportunity to explore a new and exciting field of science, but have also learned a lot about myself and how to work hard and be responsible,” Sotiryadis said in a statement.




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