Science Stars Tour UConn Health

Connecticut Science and Engineering Fair award winners tour UConnÕs Center for Cell Analysis and Modeling (CCAM). From left, CCAMÕs Ion Moraru, Michael Blinov, Leslie Loew, science fair award winners Connor Weiss and Ethan Petno, CCAMÕs John Carson, Cibele Falkenberg and Sofya Borinskaya. (Carolyn Pennington/UConn Health Center Photo)

Connecticut Science and Engineering Fair award winners tour UConn’s Center for Cell Analysis and Modeling (CCAM). From left, CCAM’s Ion Moraru, Michael Blinov, Leslie Loew, science fair award winners Connor Weiss and Ethan Petno, CCAM’s John Carson, Cibele Falkenberg and Sofya Borinskaya. (Carolyn Pennington/UConn Health Center Photo)

Two champions in science toured the Center for Cell Analysis and Modeling (CCAM) at UConn Health Tuesday. The high school students from Staples High School in Westport and Greens Farms Academy in New Canaan were the CCAM award winners at the Connecticut Science and Engineering Fair held at Quinnipiac University in March.

The competition attracts middle and high school students from 120 schools in Connecticut and several New York towns who compete for 600 available spaces. The annual fair aims to attract young people to careers in science and engineering while developing skills essential to critical thinking

CCAM is one of the groups that has established its own special award presented at the fair. Several CCAM scientists served as judges this year: John Carson; Michael Blinov; Dr. Ion Moraru; Cibele Falkenberg and Sofya Borinskaya. They looked for students who displayed the best research in cell analysis and modeling – integrating experimental and computational approaches to analysis of events within a cell.

Two winners were chosen for the 2014 CCAM award:

  • Ethan Petno, New Canaan, 11th grader at Greens Farms Academy “Differentially Expressed Genes in the Adipose Layer of Skin in Psoriatic Patients”
  • Connor Weiss, Westport, 12th grader at Staples High School, “FRET based intercellular ATP imaging for testing of BCL-xL as a mitochondrial efficiency enhancer during Long Term Potentiation”

During a visit to CCAM on April 8, the winners were presented with certificates and monetary awards, and were given a tour of the state-of-the-art building, featuring microscopy and computational facilities. The CCAM Director and Boehringer Ingelheim Chair in Cell Sciences Leslie Loew, met the students and talked about research opportunities.


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