For the past two years, six members of the Class of 2020 have engaged in high-level research at world-class institutions in the Boston area, and, on Monday May 18, they presented their work to a large audience of Belmont Hill students, parents, and faculty. The 9th Annual Advanced Science Research Poster Defense was the culmination of hundreds of hours of hard work for these seniors, with each student presenting their work for five minutes and fielding questions for another five. Every presentation was extremely impressive, and it was clear that the students had become experts in their respective fields
Brahm Agnihotri worked with Dr. Eric Liao at Massachusetts General Hospital, and his poster was titled “Modeling the Genetic Basis of Craniofacial Malformations Using Zebrafish as a Model Organism.” Renny Gong worked with Dr. John D.E. Gabrieli at the McGovern Institute for Brain Research, and his poster was titled “Differences in Cannabis Perception and Belief Updating Between Adults and Adolescents.” Jake Pappo worked with Dr. Bob S. Carter, a Belmont Hill parent, at Massachusetts General Hospital, and his poster was titled “Molecular Beacon-based, Real-Time Diagnostic for Glioma.” Gabe Raffa worked with Dr. Xandra Breakefield at Massachusetts General Hospital, and his poster was titled “Identification of Astrocyte-Specific Markers: Distinguishing Astroglia from Neurons, Glia, and Glioma Cells.” Jackson Riffe worked with Dr. James Moon at Massachusetts General Hospital, and his poster was titled “Activation of Antigen-Specific CD4+ T Cells with Peptide:MHCII-Coated Nanoparticles.” Jack Weldon worked with Dr. Sarah Davies at Boston University, and his poster was titled “16s Ribosomal DNA Analysis of Microbiome Community Composition in Thermally Resilient Porites Iobata.”
The Poster Defense also marks the beginning of a new era for the Advanced Science Research program as Mr. Courtney, who started the program in 2011 will be leaving Belmont Hill. Dr. Elizabeth Davis, who is experienced with lab work, will be taking over the program. The Panel would like to thank Mr. Courtney for his countless contributions to the school during his time at Belmont Hill and would like to congratulate Brahm, Renny, Jake, Gabe, Jackson, and Jack for their accomplishments in the ASR program over the past two years and their impressive presentations.