District 287 SciMent student named prestigious Regeneron Science Talent Search Scholar


Washington D.C. –  Gautham Nair, a senior at Shakopee High School, was named a Regeneron Science Talent Search Scholar on January 8 for his project titled “Understanding the Effects of Disinhibition: Analyzing the Impact of Synaptic Disinhibition on Neural Activities and Patterns.” His project seeks to better characterize how activity in the brain is affected when under the influence of certain drugs, which will allow medical professionals to develop more targeted and effective treatment solutions for patients. Nair used an attractor network model, which effectively represents a set of neurons, to conduct his simulation.

“I am honored and deeply humbled by this recognition,” said Nair. “ My research over the last two years has challenged me in ways I could never have anticipated, and I aspire for a future career working as a physician-scientist, practicing medicine and engaging in research where I hope to help people improve our understanding of neuroscience, addiction, and the development of new treatment solutions. I couldn’t have done this work without the support of my mentor, Dr. Redish, my family, and teachers.”

Nair will receive $2,000, and his school, Shakopee High School, will also receive $2,000 to use toward STEM-related activities.

The Regeneron Science Talent Search, founded and produced by Society for Science & the Public, is the nation’s oldest and most prestigious science and math competition for high school seniors. It recognizes and empowers promising young scientists who are creating the ideas and solutions that will address our world’s most urgent challenges.

The Regeneron Science Talent Search scholars were selected based on their exceptional research skills, commitment to academics, innovative thinking and promise as scientists. The scholars hail from 192 American and international high schools in 39 states and Guam. The Regeneron Science Talent Search scholars were selected from 1,993 applications, which were received from 659 high schools in 49 states, Washington, DC, Puerto Rico, Guam and eligible students living in eight other countries.

On January 22, the Society and Regeneron will announce the top 40 finalists, who will travel to Washington, D.C. from March 5-10 to undergo a rigorous judging process, interact with leading scientists, display their research for the public and meet with national leaders. The students ’original research projects cover all disciplines of science, including medicine and health, bioengineering, physics, genomics, mathematics, materials science, and behavioral science. Entrants are judged on their originality and creative thinking as well as a broader measure of their achievement and leadership, both inside and outside the classroom.

Each year, the Regeneron Science Talent Search finalists are engaged in cutting-edge scientific research that addresses some of our most pressing global challenges.

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SciMent Science Research is sponsored by Intermediate District 287 as a hybrid of Online Learning and Honors Mentor Connection. District 287 provides more than 120 education services including World Languages, Northern Star Online, West Suburban Summer School for gifted students, and hosts Destination Imagination. District 287 is a consortium of 11 west metro school districts.

The mission of SciMent is to reach young people with a tremendous scientific experience that focuses on the program’s three core values: Excellence, Individual Experience, and Ethics.

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