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Way to Go! Hadi Aziz of Merrick

Hadi Aziz, a senior at Sanford H. Calhoun

Hadi Aziz, a senior at Sanford H. Calhoun High School in Merrick, with Christine Boyce, the school's director for advanced science research. Photo Credit: Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District

A Merrick student has become the first high schooler admitted to work in the Kaelin Lab at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, a prestigious research center in Boston.

Hadi Aziz, a Sanford H. Calhoun High School senior, participated in a summer science research program in the lab at Dana-Farber, a principal teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School. There, he studied Rb, a tumor suppressor gene that codes for the production of a specific protein, which inhibits excessive cell growth.

Aziz said he contacted the institute last school year after he was unable to find another lab at which to research. The lab’s secretary then set up an interview with the director, who ultimately invited Aziz to study at the lab for roughly six weeks.

“From a young age, I’ve always loved science,” Aziz, 17 said. Of the lab, he said: “It was a very rewarding experience, intellectually and theoretically.”

While at Dana-Farber, Aziz worked under Hilary Nicholson, a postdoctoral research fellow. He has since entered his research into the Siemens Competition in Math, Science and Technology and is preparing to submit it into the Long Island Science & Engineering Fair.

Aziz is president of his school’s French Honor Society and plays trumpet in wind ensemble. He also officiates soccer games in the Long Island Junior Soccer League, is a tutor at Kumon Learning Center in Merrick, and volunteers at North Shore University Hospital.

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