Press Release

​A project using cutting edge computer modeling to identify potential new medications for nicotine addiction won first place distinction at the annual Addiction Science Awards at this year's Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) --- the world's largest science competition for high school students. See Press Release

First Place: Ameya Ashish Deshmukh
Ameya Ashish Deshmukh

Project: Rational Drug Design Methods for the Identification of a Novel Negative Allosteric Modulator of a4b2 Nicotinic Receptors

Ameya used “rational drug design” to select candidate molecules based on previous research, narrow the list using molecular models, and finally, test these on human cells to identify which compounds show promise for treating nicotine addiction.

Second Place: Kevin Michael Knight
Kevin Michael Knight

Project: Improving ADHD Treatment: A Comparison of Stimulant Medication Treatment for Children with ADHD, Computerized Cognitive Training of Attention and Working Memory, and the Combination of the Two

Kevin examined whether it is possible to use specialized computer programs to re-train the brains of students with ADHD, either as an alternative or as a complement to the stimulant medications typically prescribed to treat ADHD.

Third Place: Joseph Hunter Yagoda
Joseph Hunter Yagoda

Project: Risky Business: What Cognitive Factors Influence Risk-Taking in the Academic Setting?

Using an innovative simulation mimicking a prototypical classroom, Joseph measured his subjects' perceptions of the risks of skipping class.

Where Are They Now?

Undergraduate School: Yale University

  • Ethics, Politics, and Economics

Job: Senior Business Analyst, global management consulting firm


Press Release

A resourceful study into the effect of third-hand smoke upon the risk for genetic mutations in fruit flies won the top Addiction Science Award at this year's Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), the world's largest science competition for high school students. See Press Release

First Place: Sehar Anjum Salman and Jada Nicole Dalley
Sehar Anjum Salman and Jada Nicole Dalley

Project: A Cytogenic Analysis of Genetic Mutation Induced by Cigarette Smoke in Drosophila Melanogaster

Sehar and Jada measured the frequency of observable genetic mutations among Drosophila melanogaster (fruit flies) that were exposed as larvae to a piece of foam previously saturated with tobacco smoke.

Where Are They Now?

Sehar Anjum Salman

Undergraduate School: University of Southern California

  • Major: Health and Humanity

Gradudate School: Mississippi College

  • MS, Medical Science.

Medical School: Texas A&M School of Medicine

Jada Nicole Dalley

Undergraduate School: Elon University in North Carolina.

  • Major: International Business, International Studies, and Marketing
  • Minors: Religion, Sales, Economics, and Asian Studies

Job: Staff at a tour company for middle school and high school students who wish to travel abroad.

Second Place: Daniel Jeffrey Martin
Daniel Jeffrey Martin

Project: The Effect of Human Methamphetamine Usage on Carnivore Scavenging

Daniel made a retrospective analysis of data from a local medical examiner's office to demonstrate that carnivorous animals do not like to scavenge the remains of humans known to have abused methamphetamine.

Where Are They Now?

Undergraduate School: Pomona College

  • B.A., Late-Antique Medieval Studies

Gradudate School: University of California, Berkeley, School of Law

  • J.D. 2017.
Third Place: Lucia Mocz
Lucia Mocz

Project: Complex Evaluation of Danger and Tranquility in Urban Settings: An Immunocomputing Intelligence Approach

Lucia used an artificial intelligence algorithm to generate highly detailed maps with correlated indicators of danger and tranquility in the urban region of her home town.


Press Release

This year, for the first time, three students will receive awards for exemplary projects in Addiction Science at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), the world's largest science competition for high school students. See Press Release

First Place: Kapil Vishveshwar Ramachandran
Kapil Vishveshwar Ramachandran

Project: The Novel Role of the GluClα; Ion Channel and Diazepam Binding Genes in Alcohol Addiction

Kapil determined that when a specific protein is deleted in fruit flies, the flies may lose their tolerance to alcohol, offering a strong indication that the protein may play a role in addiction.

Where Are They Now?

2019: After completing his PhD, Kapil now runs his own neurobiology lab at Harvard as an independent Harvard Junior Fellow.

Graduate School: Ph.D., Johns Hopkins

  • Biological Chemistry and Neuroscience

Undergraduate School: Duke University

  • Studied the intersection of ion channels and developmental biology.
Second Place: Ethan Garrett Guinn
Ethan Garrett Guinn

Project: Video Games: The Next Generation's Addiction

Ethan developed a survey about gaming behavior similar to those used to assess whether drug users are addicted, and found that 69 % of boys and 44 % of girls showed borderline-to-severe signs of video game addiction.

Where Are They Now?

Undergraduate School: University of Oklahoma

  • Major: Management of Information Systems

Graduate School: Oklahoma State University

  • M.S., Data Science and Analytics
Third Place: Shelby Marie Raye
Shelby Marie Raye

Project: What's In and What's Out: High Schoolers' Perceptions of Coolness

Shelby identified unique parameters that affect life trajectories, and may help scientists better understand peer pressure, a common force in initiation of substance abuse.