Two young scientists celebrated for exceptional research

February 2, 2022

Two Spring Valley High School students are among the top 300 scholars in the Regeneron Science Talent Search 2022, the nation’s oldest and most prestigious science and math competition for high school seniors.

Shyam Ganesh Babu completed a project titled, Exploring How to Merge an Aspiration Thrombectomy Device and a Rotational Atherectomy Device for Efficacious Individual or Joint Removal of Thrombi and Plaque through In-Vitro Testing. Eileen Chen conducted her research on the Discovery of Potential SARS-CoV-2 Main Protease Inhibitors from Medicinal Plants.

Badu says he chose the project after watching a live balloon angioplasty during a clinical internship. “I was amazed at how the balloon, only the size of the tip of a pencil, could prevent life-threatening conditions like heart attack and stroke. I pursued this research project to explore similar endovascular devices and possibly contribute to the new research area of minimally invasive surgical devices. This award signifies that my research addresses relevant issues that people are interested in learning more about,” said Badu.

Chen says, “As far as I can remember, I’ve always been interested in drug discovery and development. In 2020, with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, I was inspired to investigate drug development for COVID-19. I used High-throughput screening to identify potential candidate compounds for future drug discovery. In many ways, this award feels like a validation of my hard work and further invigorates my passion for drug discovery. As a Regeneron STS scholar, I hope that I can contribute innovative treatments for diseases and infections to the community.”

The scholars and their school will be awarded $2,000 each. The Regeneron Science Talent Search scholars were selected from 1,804 applications received from 603 high schools across 46 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and eight other countries. Scholars were chosen based on their exceptional research skills, commitment to academics, innovative thinking and promise as scientists as demonstrated through the submission of their original, independent research projects, essays and recommendation. Babu and Chen are the only two students in South Carolina to be recognized by Regeneron for their research.