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The Society of Torch & Laurel is a high school honors program developed by the National Society of Collegiate Scholars to recognize high school high-achievers and provide them and their families with the vital tools to successfully transition to college.
The National Society of Collegiate Scholars (NSCS) is an honors organization that recognizes and elevates high-achieving students. NSCS provides career and graduate school connections, leadership and service opportunities, and gives out more than $1 million annually in scholarships, awards, and chapter funds.
College Admission Central exists to serve high school students interests, providing them with the essential resources and support that’s required to gain acceptance to college. They provide the essential tools, information, resources, and assistance: everything they’ll need to succeed!
The American Medical Student Association (AMSA), founded in 1950 and based in Washington, D.C., is the oldest and largest independent association of physicians-in-training in the United States. AMSA is a student-governed, national organization.
The American College of Surgeons (ACS) is a scientific and educational association of surgeons that was founded in 1913 to improve the quality of care for the surgical patient by setting high standards for surgical education and practice.
The STEM Education Coalition’s mission is to raise awareness amongst policymakers at every level about the critical role that science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education plays in enabling the U.S. to remain the economic and technological leader of the global marketplace of the 21st century. The Coalition believes that our nation must improve the way our students learn STEM and that the business, education, and STEM communities must work together to achieve this goal.
The National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) is the leading organization of and voice for principals and other school leaders across the United States. NASSP seeks to transform education through school leadership, recognizing that the fulfillment of each student’s potential relies on great leaders in every school committed to the success of each student. Reflecting its long-standing commitment to student leadership development, NASSP administers the National Honor Society, National Junior Honor Society, National Elementary Honor Society, and National Student Council.
Mario Capecchi, Ph.D.
Science Director, National Academy of Future Physicians and Medical Scientists
Winner, 2007 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
Winner, 2003 Wolf Prize in Medicine
Winner, 2001 Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research
Recipient, 2001 National Medal of Science
Dr. Capecchi, a biophysicist, is a Distinguished Professor of Human Genetics at the University of Utah School of Medicine. He is best known for his groundbreaking work in gene targeting in mouse embryo-derived stem cells. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine, along with Martin Evans and Oliver Smithies, for their work in finding ways to manipulate the mammalian genome by inserting new genes into cells. This research led to the breeding of “knock-out mice” and “knock-in mice,” animals with a single gene removed or inserted. His research interests include analysis of early mouse development, neural development in mammals, gene therapy, and production of murine models of human genetic diseases.
Leland Hartwell, Ph.D.
Winner, 2001 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
Dr. Hartwell led a research team at the Department of Genetics, University of Washington, using cell biology and genetics to investigate how yeast cells divide. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for discoveries of protein molecules that control the division of cells. Other honors include the Albert Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research, the Gairdner Foundation International Award, the Alfred P. Sloan Award, and the Genetics Society Medal of Honor.
M. Joycelyn Elders, M.D.
Surgeon General of the United States, 1993-1994
Dr. Elders was the first person in the state of Arkansas to become board certified in pediatric endocrinology, the fifteenth Surgeon General of the United States and the first African American, and only the second woman to head the U.S. Public Health Service. Long an outspoken advocate of public health, Dr. Elders was appointed Surgeon General by President Clinton in 1993. In 1996, she wrote her autobiography, Joycelyn Elders, M.D.: From Sharecropper’s Daughter to Surgeon General of the United States of America. Now retired from practice, she is a professor emeritus at the University of Arkansas School of Medicine and remains active in public health education.
Michael S. Brown, M.D.
Winner, 1985 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
Recipient, 1988 National Medal of Science
Dr. Brown co-discovered the low-density lipoprotein (LDL) receptor, which controls cholesterol in the blood and in cells. He showed that mutations in this receptor cause familial hypercholesterolemia, a disorder that leads to premature heart attacks. His work laid the groundwork for drugs called statins, which block cholesterol synthesis, increase LDL receptors, lower blood cholesterol, and prevent heart attacks. Statins are taken daily by more than 20 million people worldwide.
Paul B. Rothman, M.D.
Dean, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
CEO, Johns Hopkins Medicine
As Dean of Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and CEO of Johns Hopkins Medicine, Dr. Rothman, oversees both the Johns Hopkins Health System and the School of Medicine. As a rheumatologist and molecular immunologist, Dr. Rothman’s research focuses on immune system molecules known as cytokines. Specifically, he has investigated the role these molecules play in the normal development of blood cells, as well as the abnormal development of these blood cells that lead to leukemia.
Jack Szostak, Ph.D.
Winner, 2009 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
Winner, 2006 Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research
Dr. Szostak is one of the great pioneers in genetic research. A Harvard University professor of Genetics and the Alexander Rich Distinguished Investigator at Massachusetts General Hospital, he is credited with the construction of the world’s first artificial yeast chromosome. Currently, Dr. Szostak’s lab focuses on the challenges of understanding the origin of life on Earth, and the construction of artificial cellular life in the laboratory.
George M. Whitesides, Ph.D.
Recipient, 1998 National Medal of Science
Harvard University Professor of Chemistry
A giant in the field of chemistry and a prolific author of more than 950 scientific articles, Dr. Whitesides is best known for his work in the areas of NMR spectroscopy, organometallic chemistry, molecular self-assembly, soft lithography, microfabrication, microfluidics, and nanotechnology. He has received dozens of awards, including the Dreyfus Prize in the Chemical Sciences for his creation of new materials and the Priestley Medal, which is the highest honor bestowed by the American Chemical Society.
Sir Richard Roberts, Ph.D.
Winner, 1993 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
Dr. Roberts was educated in chemistry at the University of Sheffield, and in molecular biology at Harvard University. He worked for 20 years at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, where his group discovered RNA splicing, for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1993. He has had a long-standing interest in bioinformatics and has been applied to his research on restriction enzymes and DNA methylases. He now dedicates his research to GMO crops and food sources and demonstrating the effect they have on humanity.
Pardis Sabeti, M.D., Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Harvard School of Public Health Institute
Member of the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT
Dr. Sabeti is a computational geneticist who has created some of the most widely used algorithms to mine genomes for instances of human adaptation and created powerful molecular tools to clarify their biology. In 2014, she was named a TIME magazine “Person of the Year” as an Ebola fighter and in 2015 was one of TIME’s 100 Most Influential People. Dr. Sabeti completed her undergraduate degree at MIT, her graduate work at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar, and her medical degree at Harvard Medical School.
George M. Church, Ph.D.
Harvard Medical School Professor of Genetics
Dr. Church is a founding member of the Wyss Institute and director of PersonalGenomes.org, the world’s only open-access information on human genomic, environmental, and trait data. His team invented CRISPR for human stem cell genome editing and other synthetic biology technologies and applications, including new ways to create organs for transplantation, gene therapies for aging reversal, and gene drives to eliminate Lyme disease and malaria. He has co-authored 450 papers, 105 patents, and one book, Regenesis.
Stephen Ray Mitchell, M.D., MBA
Dean for Medical Education at Georgetown University
Dr. Mitchell is dean of one of America’s most prestigious medical schools, Georgetown University where he is responsible for the medical school administration, curriculum, and student affairs. He opened and continues to be Director of the Georgetown University Hospital Childhood Arthritis Center. He has been honored numerous times for his teaching excellence, including multiple “Golden Apples” for medical student education and the Kaiser Permanente Award from the faculty for Outstanding Clinical Teacher in the Medical Center.
Don W. Cleveland, Ph.D.
Winner, 2018 Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences
Dr. Cleveland has made field-leading contributions in cancer genetics and neurosciences. He is a professor and chair of the Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine at the University of California at San Diego. He received the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences for his development of a new class of “designer DNA drugs” for silencing disease-causing genes responsible for the major diseases of the nervous system, including ALS, Huntington’s, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s diseases.
J. Craig Venter, Ph.D.
Winner, 2009 Presidential National Medal of Science
Decoded the Human Genome
Dr. Venter is regarded as one of the greatest scientists of the 21st century for decoding the human genome and thus changing the future of medicine. He leads the J. Craig Venter Institute, which is dedicated to human, microbial, plant, synthetic, and environmental genomic research and to the exploration of social and ethical issues in genomics. Dr. Venter is now focusing on genomic-driven solutions to address global needs such as new sources of energy, new food and nutritional products, and next-generation vaccines.
Bohdan Pomahac, M.D.
Harvard Medical School Professor
Director, Plastic Surgery Transplantation Program
Dr. Pomahac established the Plastic Surgery Transplantation Program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, the nation’s leading center for face transplantation. In 2009, Dr. Pomahac performed the second partial face transplant in the country. After the successful transplantation, he was awarded a $3.4 million contract from the Department of Defense to perform and investigate the outcomes of face transplantation. In 2011, he led the surgical team that performed the first full-face transplant in the country.
Grand Prize Winner, 2012 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair
By the time he was 15 years old, Jack Andraka had already established himself as a breakthrough researcher, creating a new diagnostic test for pancreatic cancer that is 28 times faster, 26,000 times less expensive, and over 100 times more sensitive than preexisting diagnostic tests. Jack leads from the front, demonstrating that with passion, focus, and hard work, discovery is not impossible but completely achievable. Jack continues to expand his research at Stanford University.
Grand Prize Winner, 2011 Google Science Fair
Shree Bose is the very definition of a leader. Not only did she triumph over 10,000 other competitors to become the Grand Prize Winner of the first-ever Google Science Fair in 2011, but she is also a successful researcher and businesswoman. Shree graduated cum laude from Harvard University with a Bachelor of Arts in molecular and cellular biology and has begun a joint M.D.-Ph.D. program at Duke University.
First Place Medal of Distinction in Global Good, 2016 Intel Science Talent Search
Paige Brown is the First Place Medal of Distinction Winner in Global Good of the 2016 Intel Science Talent Search for her research studying the water quality of six environmentally impaired local streams with high E. coli and phosphate contamination levels. She is currently developing a cost-effective filter largely made of calcium alginate
strands to remove the phosphate from stormwater systems. Paige is currently studying chemical engineering at Stanford University.
Winner, 2017 Discovery 3M Young Scientist Challenge
When 7th-grader Gitanjali Rao heard about the Flint water crisis, she was inspired to help and dove right into research. She designed a compact device to detect lead in drinking water using a mobile app. She believes her invention to be faster and cheaper than other current methods. In 2017, she was named “America’s top young scientist” and was awarded the $250,000 top prize from Discovery at the 3M Young Scientist Challenge. Earlier this year, she was named in the Forbes 2019 “30 Under 30” list of breakthrough scientists.
First Place, 2014 Intel Science Talent Search
Grand Prize Winner, 2013 Google Science Fair
Grand Prize Winner, 2013 Siemens Competition in Math, Science and Technology
Eric Chen is the master of science fairs, winning all three major science prizes for his research on new drugs designed to fight dangerous strains of the influenza virus. Eric’s intelligence, love of computer modeling and biological studies, and amazing heart are evident to each person he meets. Not only is he an incredibly relatable role model, but he is also a pioneer in the directionality of the future of effective medical treatments.x
Winner, 2012 Sanofi BioGENEius Challenge Canada
Janelle Tam has discovered that cellulose, a material found in trees that helps them stand up straight, is an antioxidant with potent anti-aging properties. Janelle’s study of minute particles in tree pulp known as nanocrystalline cellulose led to an “aha!” moment for the young innovator – she had unearthed a super-durable material that has the power to fight disease and prevent aging. This unbelievable discovery won Janelle the 2012 Sanofi BioGENEius Challenge Canada, a national competition for young scientists.
First Place Medal of Distinction in Basic Research, 2016 Intel Science Talent Search
While working in a lab, Amol Punjabi became the first author of a paper published in ACS Nano and owner of a pending patent for luminescent nanoparticles used in cancer therapy. Amol pursued an independent project in computer-aided drug design that won him the Best-in-Category Award in Biochemistry at the 2015 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. Finally, for his bioinformatics research at Harvard Medical School, Amol received the First Place Medal in Basic Research at the 2016 Intel Science Talent Search.
Grand Prize Winner, 2015 Google Science Fair
Olivia Hallisey recognized the critical need for early diagnosis for Ebola, in order to slow and stop the spread of the virus. Olivia was able to develop the “Ebola Assay Card,” an inexpensive, rapid diagnostic test that indicates results through a color change, eliminating language barriers and increasing ease of use. She also developed a similar test for early diagnosis of Lyme disease, and she is continuing research on this assay as a broad disease diagnostic with applicability for other ELISA assay-based diseases.