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Regeneron competition honors CSHL high school researchers

photo of Peter Koo and PFF Rohan Ghotra
CSHL Partners for the Future (PFF) student Rohan Ghotra from Syosset High School works out problems with his mentor, Assistant Professor Peter Koo. Ghotra made the Regeneron Science Talent Search finals, where he competed against 39 other scholars for a chance of winning the top prize of $250,000. Image: Koo lab
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The Regeneron Science Talent Search named three high school students in the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) Partners for the Future program as Regeneron scholars: Aurrel Bhatia from Bethpage High School, Rohan Ghotra from Syosset High School, and Ethan Labelson from Friends Academy. The national STEM competition for high school seniors awards the top 300 scholars and their schools $2,000.

Ghotra was ranked among the top 40 scholars who presented their research projects in a final round of competition in Washington, DC; he won $25,000. The top prize is $250,000.

Ghotra and Labelson perform their research in CSHL Assistant Professor Peter Koo’s laboratory. The Koo laboratory studies how artificial intelligence-based programs learn to identify important patterns in the genome. Bhatia works in CSHL Assistant Professor Tatiana Engel’s laboratory, using computational neuroscience to understand sleep and attention.

photo of Peter Koo and Ethan Labelson
Regeneron Scholar Ethan Labelson (right) and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Assistant Professor Peter Koo (left) in the Koo laboratory. Image: Koo lab

Koo says, “I am extremely thrilled that Rohan and Ethan were selected as Regeneron Science Talent Search scholars. They are both very impressive, taking full ownership of their respective research projects. I was particularly amazed by their creativity in finding fresh approaches to solving open scientific problems.”

“It’s been a fantastic experience,” says Labelson. “I got a lot of research experience. I think that was the big thing. I’ve learned so much about practical coding way beyond what computer science classes offer me, and I have gained exposure to things that I wouldn’t have otherwise. And Peter has been really supportive in my learning and exploration of genomics.”

Written by: Luis Sandoval, Communications Specialist | | 516-367-6826

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