Intel honors six Calhoun students


Six Calhoun High School seniors were recently honored in the first group of 359 science students from across the country to receive Research Badges for their outstanding work in preparing reports for the prestigious Intel Science Talent Search, sponsored by the Society for Science & the Public. They are Tasfiqual Chowdhury, Joshua Fisher, Tim Leimback, Emma McNamara, Preetha Phillips and Joceyln Yu.

Additionally, two Calhoun researchers –– Brigid Maloney and Christian Tucci –– were honored at the Long Island Science and Engineering Fair. They will be profiled in next week’s edition of the Merrick and Bellmore Heralds.

Here are profiles of the Intel Badge winners:

Tasfiqual Chowdhury, 18,

Of Merrick

Chowdhury, who is president of Calhoun High School’s National Honor Society and hopes to become an orthopedic surgeon, looked at the causes of the little-known –– and lesser understood –– Crohn’s disease, a painful illness that causes extreme swelling of the gastrointestinal tract.

Specifically, Chowdhury looked at two forms of Escherichia coli bacteria, LF82 and MG1655, to determine which genes might cause Crohn’s disease. Working with high-powered microscopes at the Stony Brook University Health Sciences Center over the summer of 2012, Chowdhury measured gene expression in the bacteria; that is, the way in which the bacteria’s genetic code is expressed, or transferred, in the human body.

Chowdhury is a member of Calhoun’s Science Olympiad team and co-president of the Peer to Peer Program, a tutoring program that raises money for various charity organizations. He is also captain of the varsity tennis and badminton teams. And in his spare time, he volunteers at the Long Island Muslim Society, a mosque in East Meadow.

Chowdhury hopes to attend Duke, Boston College or the University of Pennsylvania in the fall and study chemistry.

Joshua Fisher, 18,

Of Merrick

Fisher does not act like a scientist. With his boisterous voice and keen sense of humor, he appears more like an actor. And that’s because he is.

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