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Poly Senior Michelle Mokaya Recognized by Regeneron Science Talent Search


​​​​​​​Michelle Mokaya, a senior enrolled in The Ingenuity Project at Poly, was selected as a top 300 Scholar (or Semi-Finalist) in the 2019 Regeneron Science Talent Search (formerly named Intel Science Talent Search).  This year, 1,964 entries were received. The top 300 scholars were selected from 184 high schools in 40 states and two American and international high schools overseas. The 40 finalists chosen to compete in Washington, D.C in March will be announced on January 23.  

Michelle's project entitled, "Detection of Parasitic Transrenal DNA from Filtered Urine Samples Using a Multiplex PCR" was completed under the mentorship of Dr. Alan Scott in the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology. Using polymerase chain reaction (PCR), Michelle created a highly sensitive diagnostic test to detect parasitic DNA. In the future, this protocol can be optimized and applied to accommodate the DNA amplification of other parasites.

Dr. Nicole Rosen, The Ingenuity Project Research Coordinator shared that, "Michelle has been a pleasure to work with. Her scientific curiosity and rigor as a researcher has been an inspiration. I am confident that her continued research in public health will make a positive impact." Faculty and staff of The Ingenuity Project and Poly are deeply respectful of Michelle's accomplishments and proud to have helped launch her important work.  Since 2005, The Ingenuity Project students have now been recognized as semi-finalists 14 times, and as finalists, three times, a unique distinction in Maryland.  

The Ingenuity Project, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization formed in 1993, provides an accelerated and comprehensive math, science and research program to over 600 students in middle school and high school. Many graduates of the program have enrolled in competitive colleges to pursue leading careers in STEM. The program, a partnership with Baltimore City Public Schools, offers an exceptional opportunity to master complex mathematics, science, and STEM research.  Students from across the city come together to support one another and share their aptitudes and interests.  In school year 2018-2019, the program was hosted by three middle schools -- Mount Royal, Hamilton and Roland Park Middle Schools -- and by Baltimore Polytechnic Institute. The program will expand for the first time in over a decade into a new location in west Baltimore, James McHenry Middle School, in 2019-2020.