Leander High School’s Maya Reddy received a Third Award in the International Science and Engineering Fair’s Translational Medical Science category.

In her application video, Maya shared that her project – Selection and Preclinical Testing of DNA Aptamers as Targeted Tau Therapies: A Novel Approach to Slow the Progression of Tauopathies – was inspired by a loved one’s experience with Alzheimer’s disease. Maya conducted multiple experiments to demonstrate the feasibility of using artificial DNA sequences to provide personalized treatments to more than 20 neurodegenerative disorders characterized by abnormal deposits of tau proteins.

With her ISEF Third Award, Maya receives $1,000, along with a scholarship to UT Dallas. This international conference brings together the top 1,700 high school projects across 67 countries. Maya’s project represented the first for Leander HS at ISEF.

Vista Ridge High School’s Raina Desai also competed at ISEF with a Cellular and Molecular Biology project, where she asked the question: How does a combination of alpha-lipoic acid and vitamin D3 affect the movement of Caenorhabditis Elegans carrying a gene mutation modeling familial ALS?

At the Texas Science and Engineering Fair, Vista Ridge High School’s Medha Pullura placed third in Biochemistry with her project: Understanding the Effects of Methamphetamine and Similar Stimulants on Contracting Cerebral Cavernous Malformation Symptoms. Vandegrift High School’s Samuel Li’s project – Predicting Seasonal Atlantic Hurricane Activity Utilizing Climatic Patterns and a Machine-Learning Approach – placed third in the Earth and Environmental Sciences.