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Irvington High Senior Wins $80K in Science Talent Search

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March 20, 2024

By Rick Pezzullo—

Irvington High School senior Christopher Zorn earned an $80,000 award after finishing in sixth place in the 2024 Regeneron Science Talent Search competition.

Zorn, who was among 40 finalists out of 2,162 entrants who were selected to advance to a weeklong rigorous judging process, was honored for investigating the relationship between RET, a gene involved in cellular signals, and MYC, a set of genes that regulate cell growth and death.

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He created genetically altered lung cancer cell lines, exposed them to various drugs and measured the MYC protein levels, which appeared at elevated levels and were shown to lead to treatment resistance. According to the organization, his findings suggest paths for further drug research targeting both RET and MYC.

“Chris has made history by being the first Irvington High School student to reach the top 10 in the Regeneron STS competition,” Science Research teachers Amy Ma and Nadia Parikka said. “This honor is truly well-deserved and highlights Chris’s dedication, maturity, and kindness in all that he does. With his passion for science, we are sure he will do great things in his future career in the sciences.”

Regeneron Science Talent Search is the nation’s oldest and most prestigious science and math competition for high school seniors. Each year, students enter the competition, submitting original research in critically important scientific fields of study, and are judged by leading experts in their fields.

The competition, now in its 83rd year, has consistently identified young innovators who become future leaders in STEM fields.

 

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