Congratulations to NC ISEF Finalists!

ISEF Logo OnNebula

The North Carolina Science Fair Foundation, Proud Sponsor of the NC Science and Engineering Fair, is proud to celebrate four NC students who qualified for and participated in the 2020 Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF).  


We extend our congratulations to the finalists:

Akshra Paimagam
Improving Tumor Detection Accuracy in Mammograms of Dense Tissue Breast Cancer Patients with Machine LEarning Methods and Image Processing Techniques
Project #TMED004  Translational Medical Science

Camille Campbell
Modification of Escherichia coli with the Gene alkB2 to Replicate Alcanivorax burkumensis Oil Degradation
Project #CELL002  Cellular and Molecular Biology

Isha Narang
Identifying Tablets Using Neural Networks
Project #CB1010 Computational Biology and Bioinformation

Prabuddha Ghosh Dastidar
A Potential Pancreatic Cancer Treatment in Pre-mRNA Splicing Inhibition: An Innovative Approach by Identifying Vulnerabilities in Pancreatic Cancer Cells using Biflavonoid Isoginkgetin and Pladienolide B
Project #CELL012
Cellular and Molecular Biology

Due to COVID -19 this year’s ISEF was held virtually, allowing anyone worldwide to register, attend sessions, and to engage with the student research projects.  The virtual format broadened the audience beyond the typical participants from 80 countries, allowing student findings to reach anyone interested in exploring their research.  Although anyone could attend the virtual Fair, only students whose projects had been selected at an affiliated Fair were able to present their research projects.

These students qualified for ISEF through competing in and winning an ISEF affiliated regional science and engineering fair in North Carolina in Region 3B and Region 6.  In order to participate in an ISEF affiliated fair, students must complete an independent or team based original research project based in scientific inquiry or engineering design.  The projects are held to rigorous safety and research standards and are vetted for compliance by a Scientific Review Committee and judged by professional scientists.  For many students this process sparks an ongoing passion for research in science or engineering, carving out a pathway to contribute knowledge to the scientific community worldwide.   Two of these students shared some thinking regarding the impact of science and their research.

Isha Narang
“Science enables us to give back to society while embracing our creativity and curiosity. I combined my interest in Machine Learning with the modern-day problem of Medicine Errors in order to find an innovative and thorough solution.”

Akshra Paimagam
“Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer mortality in women, contributing to roughly 40,000 deaths annually. Women with dense breast tissue have a higher risk of developing more aggressive breast cancer, compared to women with fatty breast tissue, because of glandular tissue which obscures the view of tumors in mammograms. At the moment, breast cancer diagnosis is 80-98% accurate for women with fatty breasts but only 50% accurate for those with dense breasts. My study presents the development and optimization of computational algorithms to improve the accuracy of breast cancer diagnosis.”

Prabuddha Ghosh Dastidar reflected on the experience, “I would like to thank the UNC Charlotte Center for STEM Education and the International Science and Engineering Fair Foundation for this wonderful opportunity. It was great to see all the amazing work students are doing around the world at Virtual ISEF and I am excited to see what the future holds for this group of talented individuals!”

The NC Science Fair Foundation would also like to acknowledge the regional fair directors, Jon Bennet and Kim Monahan of the NC School of Science and Mathematics (Region 3B) and Alisa Wickliff of UNC-Charlotte (Region 6) for their dedication to youth in Science and for supporting these students through the regional fair competition and registration at both the state and international level.