By: Alicia Sands Lurry
B.E.S.T. Academy senior Jahizreal Aquart ranks among the top science students in the world, after winning third place in the Computational Biology and Bioinformatics category at the 2017 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF) in Los Angeles last weekend.
Competing against nearly 2,000 high school students from 75 countries, regions and territories, Jahizreal was awarded a $1,000 grant for his research, “A Novel Pan-Cancer Approach to Quantify Tumor Mutational Burden and Clinical Data Predictors for Immunotherapy Response towards Personalized Medicine.” His research focused on the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to alleviate immune suppression in forming biomaterials for Type I diabetes.
Armed with a 3.8 GPA, Jahizreal is the first student at Atlanta Public Schools to earn the distinction as one of the world’s top science students.
With a bright future ahead of him, Jahizreal plans to study biomedical engineering at the University of Hartford on a four-year pre-med health scholarship.
He said he will always cherish the experience.
“The science fair was one of the most exhilarating, eye-opening experiences I’ve ever had,” said Jahizreal, who participated in Project ENGAGES at the Georgia Institute of Technology, and plans to pursue a career in oncology. “This was the most exposure I’ve ever had to different ideas and people, and to seeing how big and competitive the world is. By far, it has been the best academic experience of my high school career.”
Student winners are ninth through twelfth graders who earned the right to compete at the Intel ISEF 2017 by winning a top prize at a local, regional, state or national science fair. The event unites top young scientific minds, showcasing their talents on an international stage, where doctoral level scientists review and judge their work.
Millions of students worldwide compete each year in local and school-sponsored science fairs; the winners of these events go on to participate in Society-affiliated regional and state fairs, from which the best win the opportunity to attend Intel ISEF.
“The magnitude of winning speaks volumes for B.E.S.T. Academy, APS, and the state of Georgia,” Jahizreal said. “The best part is that it honors my mentors and researchers that I work with at Georgia Tech.”