Three MNPS Students Named Semi-Finalists in National Regeneron Science Talent Search

Three MNPS Students Named Semi-Finalists in National Regeneron Science Talent Search
Posted on 01/11/2019
Three MNPS Students Named Semi-Finalists in National Regeneron Science Talent Search


Ella Halbert (Hume-Fogg) 2019 Regeneron Scholar Semi-Finalist

Julia & Samuel

Julia An & Samuel Lee 2019 Regeneron Semi-Finalists 2019


Nashville, Tenn. - Jan. 10, 2019 - Three Metro Nashville Public Schools seniors have been recognized as some of the most outstanding student researchers in the country. Julia An, Samuel Lee, both of Martin Luther King Jr. Magnet, and Ella Halbert, Hume-Fogg Academic Magnet, have been named Regeneron Science Scholar semifinalists for 2019.

These MNPS students make up an elite group of winners - among only four students from Tennessee who qualified for this distinction. All three were recognized for their work with the School for Science and Math at Vanderbilt's (SSMV) senior class. (

  • Julia An (MLK) completed her project, “Identification and Characterization of Helicobacter Pylori Genes Regulating DNA Translocation and TLR9 Activation by the Cancer-Associated cag Type IV Secretion System,” with Richard Peek, Jr., M.D., in the Vanderbilt Department of Medicine.
  • Ella Halbert (Hume-Fogg) completed her project, “Temperature and infection modulate mosquito cellular immunity in an age-dependent manner,” with Julian Hillyer, Ph.D., in the Vanderbilt Department of Biological Sciences.
  • Samuel Lee (MLK) completed his project, “Investigating Upregulated Genes Contributing to the Survival of H. pylori Under Host-Induced Oxidative Stress,” with Holly M. Algood, Ph.D., in the Vanderbilt Department of Medicine.

An, Halbert and Lee are all semi-finalists competing to be named one of the “Top 40 Regeneron Scholars.” Winners will be announced Jan. 23. Each Top 40 Scholar receives $25,000 and a trip to the final competition in Washington, D.C. in March. The top prize for the most promising emerging STEM leader in the United States is $250,000.

The Regeneron Science Talent Search, founded and produced by the Society for Science and the Public, is a premiere pre-collegiate science competition that began in 1942. This year, they received 1,964 applications. Only 300 were selected as semifinalists.

The School for Science and Math at Vanderbilt (SSMV) is a joint venture between Vanderbilt University and Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) and offers high school students an interdisciplinary, research-centered learning experience. SSMV students competing in this year's competition are members of the class of 2019 - and eighth to graduate from the program. The SSMV is currently accepting applications through February 15, 2019. For more information about the program, visit

The SSMV has received funding from Vanderbilt University, Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools, the National Center for Research Resources of the National Institutes of Health, and other generous donors.

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Metro Nashville Public Schools is one of the nation's top 46 largest school districts, preparing 86,000 students for higher education, work and life. With the goal of being the first choice for Nashville families, Metro Schools is committed to #ExceedingGreatExpectations with the mission of delivering a great public education to every student, every day. The district is earning a national reputation for urban school reform, social and emotional learning and rising academic achievement. The governing body for Metro Schools is the Metropolitan Nashville Board of Public Education, a nine-member elected body. For more information, visit, or follow us on Twitter @MetroSchools or Facebook/MetroSchools.


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