Three future stars in science toured the Center for Cell Analysis and Modeling (CCAM) at the UConn Health Center Thursday. The high school students from Darien and Amity Regional were the CCAM award winners at the Connecticut Science and Engineering Fair held at Quinnipiac University in March. The statewide annual fair featured 500 pre-selected scientific projects performed by middle and high school students independently or in research labs.
This year, CCAM established its own award for the best research in cell analysis and modeling – integrating experimental and computational approaches to analysis of events within a cell. Several CCAM faculty were judges at the CSF Fair and selected three winners for the CAM award.
First prize: Helen Zhao, Woodbridge, “Characterizing the Boundaries of the Lipid Bilayer Surrounding Intramembrane Protease GlpG”
Second prize: Dorry Zhao, Darien, “The Effect of the D126G Mutation on the Aggregation Propensity of CRABP”
Third prize: Shiyu (Jennifer) Zhuang, Orange, “Ca2+ Sensitive Alginate-Dendrimer FRET System for the Detection of MI”
During a visit to CCAM on April 11, 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, CCAM Graduate Program Director John Carson and Associate Director Michael Blinov talked about research opportunities at CCAM, and graduate student Sofya Borinskaya and research associate Ed Boyce led students on a tour through the facility.