Armonk high school senior Brent Perlman struck gold in March when he finished in seventh place in this year’s Regeneron Science Talent Search competition. The young scientist from Byram Hills High School took home $70,000 for his efforts.
“I am so thrilled and excited to have won seventh place and for getting myself recognized,” Perlman says. “That week was definitely one of the best of my life.”
Perlman’s research project involved the induction of photosynthesis in human cells by inserting spinach chloroplasts into stem-cell cultures. The expectation is that the oxygen produced from photosynthesis can aid in the treatment of cancer, heart attacks, and stroke, says Perlman, who is quick to point out that his impressive achievement was a team effort.
“I am currently in a three-year program, and we had one year to review scientific literature,” Perlman says. “So, I reached out and [teamed] up with Dr. Glenn Gaudette and have been working to complete his experiment with spinach leaves.”
Perlman, whose experiment resulted in a patent pending with Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, MA, is interning with Regeneron this summer and will enter the University of Pennsylvania as an undergraduate in the fall. “I intend to double major in life sciences and in business specializations,” Perlman says.
Editor’s Note: Three other Westchester high school seniors finished in the top 40 of this year’s competition, representing an impressive 10% of the winners. They are: Aditi Singh and Chirag Kumar, of Horace Greeley High School, and Emma Montgomery of Ossining High School.