PDA Letter Article

More than Volcanoes or Solar System Models

by Leo Posner, PhD, Johnson & Johnson, and Chapter President, PDA Delaware Valley Chapter

Model Solar System

Delaware Valley Chapter Supports Local Science Fair

Each year, 900 to 1,000 students representing grades six through 12 from schools in the Pennsylvania, Delaware and southern New Jersey area participate in the Delaware Valley Science Fair. On April 4, five volunteer judges from the Delaware Valley Chapter, Michele Laudenslager, Nicole Shulde, Margit Olson, Traute Ryan and Kristi Ballard, evaluated all of the outstanding entries, awarding over $5,000 in prize money to ten projects related to the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries.

In addition to this recognition, the chapter takes the top high school winners to the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) competition in May to compete for more than $4 million in scholarships and awards. Top middle school winners compete in the Broadcom MASTERS national competition.

As always, the chapter’s judges enjoyed reviewing each of the science fair posters and talking with the students about their research, quickly forgetting that these presenters are in middle/high school not master’s programs!

The chapter congratulates all the students who participated and especially the ten PDA Delaware Valley Chapter’s Special Award Winners.

The Ten Winners

  • “An In-Silico Approach to Immuno-Oncology: Novel Small Molecule Inhibitors of the PD-1 Immune Checkpoint” Sindhura Siddapureddy, Central Bucks High School-West
  • “Urine as an Alternative to Blood for Cancer Liquid Biopsy and Precision Medicine” Adam Zhang, Methacton High School
  • “Programmed Apoptotic Hepatocellular Death Induced by SMAC Mimetic on SHB Producing Cells” Alec Maraska, Central Bucks High School-West
  • “Exosomal Haptoglobin Potential as Protein Biomarker for Hepatocellular Carcinoma” Madison Charnigo, Central Bucks High School-West
  • “The Effect of a Vegan Diet on an Omnivorous Gut Microbiome” Sarah Rojas, Germantown Academy
  • “Effacious And Effectual Antifungal Natural Remedies?” Rachel Li,Parkland High School
  • “Synergistic Effects of Essential Oils and Olfactory Lures as Attractive Toxic Sugar Baits (ATSBs) on Culex and Aedes Species” Gwen Ericson, Marine Academy of Technology & Environmental Science
  • “The Effects of Mangifera indica and Cinnamomum zeylanicum Evergreen Tree Bark Extracts on Oral Bacteria Causing Caries and Periodontal Disease” Julietta Onofrietti, Toms River High School North
  • “A Novel Approach to Combating Cancer Using Chelation Therapy (EDTA)” Vishruth Hanumaihgari, Springhouse Middle School
  • “Monthly Toxocara Contamination Levels in Montgomery County, PA” Devyn Stek, St. Teresa of Calcutta

PDA Who's Who

  • Kristi Ballard, Associate Director, Technical Operations, Merck
  • Michele Laudenslager, Validation Specialist, Strategic Maintenance Solutions
  • Margit Olson, President, MonarchBioscience
  • Traute Ryan, Science Fair Coordinator, PDA Delaware Valley Chapter
  • Nicole Shulde, Manager, Strategic Program Lead, Johnson & Johnson