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Way to Go! Ward Melville student attends Research Science Institute 

Amber Luo, a senior at Ward Melville High

Amber Luo, a senior at Ward Melville High School, was one of 81 students nationwide this summer selected to attend the 38th Annual Research Science Institute. Credit: Three Village School District

A Ward Melville High School student recently presented her research to peers and professors across the globe.

Amber Luo, a senior at the school in East Setauket, was among 81 students nationwide — and the only one from New York — selected to attend the 38th Annual Research Science Institute by the Center for Excellence in Education in collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The Research Science Institute is offered to top-achieving students who are selected by a committee of educators and alumni based on criteria including high school record, personal essay and standardized test scores. It was held virtually this summer because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"RSI is one of those precious few experiences I struggle to transform into words," Luo said. "The whole experience was so much like living in a dream, because I was sharing my dreams, passions and hopes with people who think and dream with that very same intensity."

Luo's research focused on designing a computational pipeline that would enable researchers to obtain a clearer understanding of how particular diseases or protein pathways influence protein synthesis. She was awarded a $2,000 scholarship from Regeneron Pharmaceuticals and her project was named a Top 5 Paper and Top 5 Presentation.

Luo's is also captain of her school's Science Olympiad team, math team president and science editor for her school newspaper.

— MICHAEL R. EBERT

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