Congratulations to Lakeside High School senior, Gerald Meixiong!
Gerald placed 4th Nationally in the Siemens Competition, earning a $40,000 scholarship for his research endeavors at Georgia Regents University.
The competition took place in Washington D.C. earlier this week.
"The most challenging experience is confronting the unknown. I have never done something in my life where days, even weeks, of work can be spent on a scientific process with there being a possibility for no results."
Gerald's research focused on mitosis, the process by which cells divide and sustain life. During mitosis, DNA, the genetic instructions necessary for development of all living organisms, is faithfully duplicated, enable cells to grow. To understand how chromosomes are pulled towards opposite ends, and what creates this pulling force, Gerald sought to elucidate the mechanism by which the pulling force is generated by using a variety of techniques including cell culture, fluorescence imaging, in vitro lipid binding, and transfection.
As a result of his work, Gerald discovered a novel mechanism for efficient chromosome segregation. His study could provide insight into molecular mechanisms of faithful duplication of DNA in mitosis and identify potential targets for the development of therapeutic drugs for cancers, which rely on unbridled cell division.
Inspired by his brother's exceptional performance in the 2008 National Finals of the Siemens Competition, Gerald decided to pursue research in biochemistry by exploring a deep fascination with the cell and the mitotic spindle.
"Learning about how intricate DNA is, let alone one cell, piqued my interest in scientific research," he said.
Gerald enjoys competitive swimming and volunteers as a Junior Volunteer at the University Hospital in Evans, GA, where he assists nurses in helping cancer patients and serves as a clerk.
As for the future, Gerald enjoys conducting research and hopes to become a professor to make additional scientific discoveries.
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