McGarry Lab Helps Local Student Place in Prestigious Competition
Marissa Suchyta, a senior at the University of Chicago Laboratory High School and a student in Thomas McGarry’s laboratory, recently took home third place and a $40,000 scholarship at the national finals of the 2009 Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology, the nation’s premier high school science competition.
Suchyta’s biology project, “Geminin mutant reveals the mechanism to inhibit DNA rereplication,” has the potential to develop new approaches for treating cancer. She researched the mechanism by which the protein Geminin prevents DNA from replicating more than once each time a cell divides. Over replication of DNA would lead to genetic instability, which could cause the cells to either become cancerous or die prematurely. Suchyta’s work suggests that drugs that inhibit Geminin could be useful chemotherapeutic agents
An extraordinarily accomplished student, Suchyta would like to double major in neurobiology and molecular/cellular biology in college and eventually become a neurosurgeon with a PhD in molecular oncology. She placed second at nationals in the National History Day Competition and was named a regional winner in the Discovery Young Scientist Challenge. Suchyta competes on the Model United Nations and Varsity Science Olympiad Teams.
The Siemens Competition, a signature program of the Siemens Foundation, is administered by the College Board.