13 Indian American teens among top 40 high school scientists in Regeneron Science Talent Search


The top 40 finalists in this year’s Regeneron Science Talent Search, include 13 Indian American high schoolers. Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and the Society for Science announced the nation’s oldest and most prestigious science and math competition for high school seniors on January 24.

The competition, now in its 83rd year, identifies young innovators who utilize their STEM talent and leadership skills to drive society forward. Program alumni include 13 Nobel Prizes and 21 MacArthur Foundation Fellowships, as well as the founders of many science-based companies, including Regeneron.

Regeneron is a leading biotechnology company that invents, develops, and commercializes life-transforming medicines for people with serious diseases. Founded and led for over 35 years by physician-scientists the firm has developed numerous FDA-approved treatments and product candidates in development in its laboratories. Its medicines are designed to help patients with eye diseases, allergic and inflammatory diseases, cancer, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, hematologic conditions, infectious diseases, and rare diseases.

The finalists will participate in a week-long competition from March 6-13, 2024, where they will undergo a rigorous judging process and compete for more than $1.8 million in awards. They will also have an opportunity to interact with leading scientists and share research with the public on March 10, both in person and virtually. The top 10 Regeneron Science Talent Search 2024 winners will be announced during an awards ceremony on March 12, streamed live from Washington D.C.

In total, more than $3 million in awards will be distributed throughout the Regeneron Science Talent Search. Each finalist is awarded at least $25,000, with the top 10 awards ranging from $40,000 to $250,000. Finalists may use their award prize money solely for educational purposes. The top 300 scholars, each of whom receives $2,000, may use their awards as they see fit; each of their schools is also awarded $2,000 to support math and science programs, a critical investment toward their future in STEM, and our country’s future as a hub of innovation and progress.

The Regeneron Science Talent Search, a program of the Society for Science since 1942, is the nation’s oldest and most prestigious science and math competition for high school seniors. Each year, approximately 2,000 student entrants submit original research in critically important scientific fields of study and are judged by leading experts in their fields. Unique among high school competitions in the U.S. and around the world, the Regeneron Science Talent Search focuses on identifying, inspiring, and engaging the nation’s most promising young scientists who are creating the ideas that could solve society’s most urgent challenges.

In 2017, Regeneron became only the third sponsor of the Science Talent Search to help reward and celebrate the best and brightest young minds and encourage them to pursue careers in STEM as a way to positively impact the world. Through its 10-year, $100 million commitment, Regeneron nearly doubled the overall award distribution to $3.1 million annually, increasing the top award to $250,000 and doubling the awards for the top 300 scholars to $2,000 and their schools to $2,000 for each enrolled scholar to inspire more young people to engage in science.

Society for Science is a champion for science, dedicated to promoting the understanding and appreciation of science and the vital role it plays in human advancement. Established in 1921, the Society for Science is best known for its award-winning journalism through Science News and Science News Explores, its world-class science research competitions for students, including the Regeneron Science Talent Search, the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair, and the Thermo Fisher Scientific Junior Innovators Challenge, and its outreach and equity programming that seeks to ensure that all students have an opportunity to pursue a career in STEM.

The 2024 finalists’ research projects showcase their knowledge, commitment to addressing issues important to modern society, and their passion for STEM. Many of the students are exploring research topics including brain disorders, suicide risk, and anxiety. Some of the students invented accessibility devices, including a robotic arm socket design, glasses for the visually impaired, and a column-climbing robot. Other finalists are working on projects that are focused on their local environments like studying honeybees and colony collapse disorder as well as the prevention of the invasive lantern fly.

“Every year, the Regeneron Science Talent Search helps inspire and engage a new wave of talented young scientists with the potential to improve the world,” said George D. Yancopoulos, Co-Founder, Board Co-Chair, President and Chief Scientific Officer of Regeneron and a winner in the 1976 STS. “I congratulate these exceptional young finalists as they embark on their scientific journeys. As someone who got my start in this very competition, I know firsthand how the Science Talent Search experience can help jumpstart students’ future academic and career journeys.”

The finalists were chosen based on their projects’ scientific rigor and their potential. They were selected from 300 scholars, announced earlier this month by Regeneron and the Society for Science. The scholars were chosen from 2,162 qualified entrants, the largest pool of applicants the competition has seen since the 1960s, highlighting the increasing importance of scientific exploration, and outreach and equity programs dedicated to supporting scientific literacy and preparation for competitions. Each student completed an original research project and an extensive application process.

“We applaud this dynamic group of Regeneron Science Talent Search finalists on their impressive achievement,” said Maya Ajmera, President and CEO of the Society for Science and Executive Publisher of Science News. “As they follow in the footsteps of extraordinary STEM innovators, they are poised to solve the world’s most intractable problems.”

Regeneron Science Talent Search 2024 Fast Facts

  • The Regeneron Science Talent Search 2024 finalists represent 36 schools across 19 states. They are competing for more than $1.8 million, with a top prize of $250,000.
  • Forty finalists were selected from 300 scholars and 2,162 entrants, the largest pool of applicants since the 1960s, based on the originality and creativity of their scientific research, as well as their achievement and leadership both inside and outside of the classroom.
  • Finalist projects cover disciplines of science including animal sciences, behavioral and social sciences, biochemistry, bioengineering, cellular and molecular biology, chemistry, computational biology and bioinformatics, earth and planetary science, engineering, environmental science, medicine and health genomics, materials science, mathematics, neuroscience, computer science, animal sciences, physics, plant sciences, and space science.

Saraswathy Amjith

School: Tesla STEM High School, Redmond, WA

Project Title: A Novel Integrated Machine Learning Approach Utilizing Radar and Satellite Imagery for Selective Logging Remote Sensing Detection and Accompanying AI-Logging Map-Generating Webtool

Indian American teen scientists and their projects in Regeneron Science Talent Search:

Aarav Arora

School: Del Norte High School, San Diego, CA

Project Title: A Mechanistic Basis for the Analysis of SARS-CoV-2 Omicron Variant Severity

Aditi Avinash

School: Rock Canyon High School, Highlands Ranch, CO

Project Title: Model Validation and Preclinical Testing of Digestive Enzymes for Gluten Breakdown: A Move To Cure Gluten Intolerance and Celiac Disease

Harshil Avlani

School: BASIS Chandler, Chandler, AZ

Project Title: Analyzing the Effect of Mid-Circuit Measurement (MCM) on Spectator Qubits

Arav Bhargava

School: The Potomac School, McLean, VA

Project Title: Low-Cost, 3D-Printed, Universal-Fit, Transradial Socket for Amputees in Developing Countries


Arnav N. Chakravarthy

School: Homestead High School, Cupertino, CA

Project Title: Leveraging Mitochondrial DNA Mutations for Macrophage Lineage Tracing in Primary Human Tissues

Sarang Goel

School: Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science, Denton, TX

Project Title: IVY – Intelligent Vision System for the Visually Impaired: Innovative Low-Cost, AI-Based Eyeglasses To Help the Visually Impaired Overcome Mobility Limitations Through Navigational Assistance and Object Avoidance Algorithms and an Intuitive Vibration and Audio Guidance System

Amanrai Singh Kahlon

School: Sanford School, Hockessin, DE

Project Title: Enhancing Wearable Gait-Monitoring Systems: Identifying Optimal Kinematic Inputs in Typical Adolescents

Alexandra Mahajan

School: Cambridge Rindge & Latin School, Cambridge, MA

Project Title: A Novel Method To Determine Precise Stellar Radii and Temperatures of Low Mass Stars Using JWST Transits and Occultations

Ekansh Mittal

School: Westview High School, Portland, OR

Project Title: Harnessing Machine Learning and 3D Spheroid Cultures To Identify Biomarkers for Combating Drug Resistance in Breast Cancer

Achyuta Rajaram

School: Phillips Exeter Academy, Exeter, NH

Project Title: Automatic Discovery of Visual Circuits

Rhea Rastogi

School: Loveless Academic Magnet Program High School, Montgomery, AL

Project Title: Understanding How the Maternal Epigenetic Reprogramming Function of LSD1 Contributes to Inherited Developmental Disease

Riya Tyagi

School: Phillips Exeter Academy, Exeter, NH

Project Title: Using Computer Vision To Disentangle Features Enabling AI To Learn Self-Reported Race and Ethnicity From Medical Images


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