Sophomore places first in city-wide science fair

Sophomore Saanvi KIshore and poster for presentation at GARSEF
Sophomore Saanvi KIshore and poster for presentation at GARSEF

Sophomore Sanvi Kishore placed first in biomedical health sciences and engineering at the Greater Austin Regional Science and Engineering Fair (GARSEF). Kishore and three other students will be advancing to the state science fair later this year. 

“My project was about identifying genes that cause a disease. That’s the simplest way to say it,” Kishore said. 

The project, entitled “Identification of Biomarkers of Atherosclerosis Through Data Analytics of mRNA Expression” analyzes the biological reasons for the development of atherosclerosis, a hardening of the arteries.

“I used computational biology and different kinds of data analysis methods to find out what genes cause a specific disease,” Kishore said. 

The formation of atherosclerosis is associated with smoking, high blood pressure, and obesity. However, after diving into the mRNA expression of genes, Kishore was able to distinguish differences in the makeup between those affected and those without. 

“Half of my data set came from healthy people and the other half came from those affected by the disease,” she said.

To gather the information necessary for this project, Kishore utilized an online gene repository for mRNA expression sequences. She explains the complexity of the data analysis process. 

“For me,” Kishore said, “the hardest part was definitely choosing which data analysis method to use. I had to decide which method would be most successful for my project.”

GARSEF is hosted each year by the Austin Science Education foundation. The competition feeds into the International Science and Engineering Fair, the top competition for projects that takes place annually in Los Angeles, CA. Ahead of the state competition, Kishore discusses her next plans to improve to hopefully earn a coveted ISEF spot. 

“Before the state science fair I want to improve on my conclusion,” Kishore said. “The conclusion is the most important part of the project because it summarizes the work and leaves a lasting impression about your work and I want to edit mine.”

The state science fair is held at Texas A&M University in College Station. To advance, competitors need to place first in their category. Kishore states that the science fair is a good opportunity for any student, no matter the interest.

“The science fair is really for anyone,” Kishore said. “There are so many different topics covered, whether you want to go into biology or computer science. Overall, it is a great experience.”


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About the Contributor
Katherine Dale
Katherine Dale, Editor
Katherine Dale is a junior and she is thrilled to be Sports Editor on the Voice. In her free time, she enjoys reading, spending time with family, and listening to music. On campus, Katherine is involved in Choir and UIL Academics. She has two black cats, Betty and Bonnie, that she loves dearly.

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