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TAMS students among top 300 scholars in nation

Mira Patel (left) Ritik Patnaik (middle) Rishi Shridharan (right)

Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science seniors, Mira Patel, Ritik Patnaik and Rishi Shridharan were recently named three of the top 300 scholars in the United States in the Regeneron Science Talent Search, the nation’s oldest and most prestigious science and math competition.

Patel, Patnaik and Shridharan were selected from a pool of nearly 2,000 students. They will each receive a $2,000 prize. TAMS will also receive $2,000 for each of the students.

Each senior submitted an original research project for the contest:

Patel and her mentor Pamela Padilla of the UNT College of Science Department of Biological Sciences studied diabetes by feeding nematodes excessive amounts of sugar and studying the effect.

Patnaik is working on the design and development of high security two-part biometric systems with his mentors Scott Belshaw of the College of Health and Public Service Criminal Justice Department and College of Engineering Department of Electrical Engineering professor Kamesh Namuduri.  

Shridharan is developing a testing model for the maturation of brain cells with his mentor Jannon Fuchs of the Department of Biological Sciences. The implications of this model suggest a possible new treatment for multiple sclerosis and brain injury.

“Our goal here at TAMS is to allow STEM students to find their own way; to explore their interests while conducting valuable research in a college-level environment,” says Glenisson de Oliveira, dean of the academy. “The research conducted by Mira, Ritik and Rishi are all fine examples of the overall work of all our TAMS students. I am pleased to see them honored in this way.”

UNT’s Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science is the nation‘s first early college entrance residential program for high school students. Mentored by faculty at the University of North Texas, TAMS students tackle complex, real world problems, working on solutions and breakthroughs in fields ranging from healthcare to energy consumption. TAMS serves as an important pipeline for STEM educations, nurturing the next generation of innovators.