Oyster Bay High School's National Merit Scholarship Finalist and Cancer Researchers
In September of 2016, officials of National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) announced the names of approximately 16,000 Semifinalists in the 62nd annual National Merit Scholarship Program. Being a semifinalist gave these academically talented high school seniors an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth about $33 million. The nationwide pool of Semifinalists, represents less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors.
Owen McEvoy, who was selected from the Oyster Bay High School (OBHS) Class of 2017 as a semifinalist, found out this spring that he earned finalist status. Mr. McEvoy is in the enviable position of trying to decide among several colleges that have accepted him. He plans on studying Science, Engineering and Biological Sciences in college. Owen is a member of the National Honor Society, the Interact Club and International Club at OBHS. He has served as Treasurer of the Student Council and Vice President of the Foreign Language Honor Society. Owen is a member of the CYO Swim Team.
Mr. McEvoy was accepted into the “Partners for the Future” program at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories. He began in the fall conducting research into finding a cure for pancreatic cancer. This is an exciting opportunity available to Oyster Bay High School students.
Oyster Bay High School senior Kimia Khaledi also was accepted into the program. Ms. Khaledi currently serves as the President of the Student Council at Oyster Bay High School. She plans on continuing her studies in Science next fall at Columbia University.
Ms. Khaledi and Mr. McEvoy join a stellar list of OBHS students who have participated in the program including Dana Galgano, Vanessa Yu, Rachel Wesley, Rebecca Layne, Sabrina Layne, Catherine Schlingheyde, Adam Robbins, Jana Steiger, Sharon Hoffman, and Nicole Chasen.
Kimia Khaledi worked at the Tuveson Lab side by side with PhD candidate Tobiloba Oni while Owen McEvoy was paired with Postdoctoral Fellow Ela Elyada.
Dr. David Tuveson is a Professor, M.D., Ph.D., and a graduate of Johns Hopkins University (1994). He specializes in the study of pancreatic cancer, experimental therapeutics, diagnostics, mouse models, and cancer genetics. He established the Tuveson Lab as part of the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory complex. He uses mouse and human tissue models of neoplasia to explore the fundamental biology of these diseases and thereby identify new diagnostic and treatment strategies. The team’s main focus is pancreatic cancer, a lethal malignancy that has eluded clinical solutions despite intensive study. This year, the lab used the mouse model system to identify the mechanism of a promising drug treatment for pancreatic cancer. Collectively, the lab’s strategy in the preclinical and clinical arena is codified as the “Cancer Therapeutics Initiative,” and this initiative will provide these same approaches to the entire CSHL cancer community.
Both Owen and Kimia presented the findings of their research on March 27 at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories. Owen presentation was “Finding Alternative Models for Pancreatic Cancer.” Kimia presentation was “Investigating the Role of the SOAT (Sterol O-acyltransferase) 1 Enzyme on Metastatic Pancreatic Cancer Cells.”
It is truly remarkable that Oyster Bay High School students were given the opportunity to participate in research that could lead to a cure for one of life’s deadliest diseases.