3 honored for summer research
STARS recognizes outstanding research by students
Posted on 10/25/2019
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students accept certificates From Left: South High Principal Kevin Keltner with Neha Amin, West High's Sarvesh Palaniappan and Lauren Baetje, West High Principal Neil Berry, Superintendent Bernie DuBray and UMSL's Ken Mares. Three Fort Zumwalt seniors were recognized at the October regular meeting of the Board of Education for their outstanding work in the University of Missouri St. Louis Students and Teachers as Research Scientists program. Since 1988, UMSL STARS has paired qualifying high school students with researchers at UMSL, the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, St. Louis University and Washington University in St. Louis. Students explore independent projects while also working alongside top St. Louis scientists to conduct research. They presented their findings and submitted their papers to senior scientists across the region. 

Neha Amin, a senior at South High, along with Lauren Baetje and Sarvesh Palaniappan, seniors at West High, were three of the district’s four UMSL STARS participants this year. UMSL’s Dr. Ken Mares presented each with an Award for Excellence in Research.

“The evaluation scores from the panel of scientists who reviewed the research papers were the best in the history of the Award,” Mares says. The criteria included difficulty and complexity of the research, appropriateness of the research methodology, findings, quality of writing and overall quality of the research process.

Amin worked with Dr. Angela Hirbe of the Washington University School of Medicine on the paper "Impact of Yoga Therapy on Women Receiving Chemotherapy for Breast Cancer.”

Baetje worked with Dr. Ajay K. Jain of St. Louis University on the paper “Surrogates for Carbamazepine Driven Injury Markers During Parenteral Nutrition.” 

Palaniappan worked with Dr. Steve Mumm of the Washington University School of Medicine on the paper “Haplotypes for Hypophosphatasia Patients with the ALPL c.1133A>T, p.Asp378Val Gene Mutation Suggest a Relation to a Genetic Founder.” 

Dr. Mares presented each student with a framed certificate and five bound copies of their research papers.

UMSL has extended a scholarship offer to cover full tuition to the participating STARS students who enroll at the university, and the STARS program will cover book fees up to $750 and an undergraduate research budget of $1,500. Students also will have continuing undergraduate research opportunities in their indended major.

South High’s William He also participated in the program. He worked with Dr. Benjamin Bythell of the University of Missouri- St. Louis on the paper  “A Comparison of the Gas-phase Structure and Fragmentation Behavior of Select Disaccharide Sugars by Mass Spectrometry.”