DOBBS FERRY, N.Y. -- Dobbs Ferry High School senior Yiorgos Argyros was named a semifinalist in the 2014 Siemens Competition in math, science and technology, one of the nation’s premier science research competitions for high school students.
Argyros, a student in Dobbs Ferry High School’s science research program, teamed up with Mamaroneck High School senior Emily McCarthy to study the effect a specific gene has on a person’s susceptibility to epilepsy and seizures. This collaboration is a first for the two Westchester schools, which each have their own award-winning science research programs.
Both students were conducting independent research over the summer at a New York Medical College laboratory when their mentors suggested they combine their overlapping data into one significant research project.
The resulting joint project, entitled “Brd2 Gene Deficiency Alters Numbers of GABAergic Cells,” studied the relationship between an important developmental gene (Brd2) and the number of brain cells producing the neurotransmitter GABA in mice predisposed to seizures. Their findings have the potential to help clarify the genetic underpinnings of juvenile myoclonic epilepsy in humans and ultimately could help develop more effective treatments for seizures.
Dobbs Ferry science research teacher Tom Callahan and Mamaroneck original science research program teacher Guido Garbarino helped the students review and edit their final paper submission, working with both students simultaneously via Google Docs.
McCarthy and Argyros are among 300 semifinalists chosen this year from approximately 1,500 entries.
They will enter their project in other upcoming science competitions in the spring, including the Westchester Rockland Junior Science and Humanities Symposium and the Westchester Science and Engineering Fair.
Argyros, who is an International Baccalaureate Diploma candidate and a National Honor Society member, is interested in studying biological sciences or pre-med in college. He has been in the Dobbs Ferry High School science research program since sophomore year.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.