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Congratulations to our 2015 ISEC Winners and Runner-Ups!

Emily Xu, of Raleigh Charter High School in NC, was awarded first place for her essay entitled “David and Goliath: The Future of Targeted Therapy in Cancer Treatment.” William “Woosung” Jung, of Korea International School, South Korea, received second place for his essay entitled “Bioinformatics: Piercing and Pinpointing Moonlighting Proteins and Beyond.”
In addition, Kismat Touhid, of Queens High School for the Sciences at York College, Jamaica, NY, won third place for his submission describing “The Role of Copper in the Future of Public Hygiene,” and Jason Jung, of Bergen County Academies in Hackensack, NJ, was honored as a runner-up for his essay describing the interdisciplinary and indispensable study of polymer chemistry.

The DUJS Editorial Board would like to thank all who participated in ISEC 2015. This year we received over 235 submissions from all over the globe, making our selection process extremely difficult. To all of our contestants, we wish you all the best as you continue your studies in science. We would also like to thank the Dartmouth College Office of Undergraduate Admissions for supporting ISEC 2015.

exuFirst Place Winner: Emily Xu
Grade: 11
Topic: David and Goliath: The Future of Targeted Therapy in Cancer Treatment
Raleigh Charter High School, Raleigh, NC, USA
What are your thoughts about winning ISEC 2014?
I am truly honored to be awarded first place in this year’s competition.  I would like to thank my teachers and my family for all their advice and support. I would also like to extend my gratitude to DUJS in sparking my scientific curiosity in targeted therapy and for giving me the opportunity to share my excitement with the community.

What did you learn while writing your essay? 
Before researching and writing my essay, I wasn’t even aware that nanotechnology was being used in the medical field, let alone as a potentially revolutionary therapeutic treatment for cancer. I was fascinated by how powerful this interdisciplinary approach is and the potential scientific and social ramifications it could have on future generations. My research has also allowed me to gain a better understanding of science in general. Before, I viewed the different fields, such as physics and biology, as totally unrelated and discrete studies, but now, I see that they are part of one complex, interconnected field dedicated to the study of our universe. What do you hope to study in college? 
In college I intend to study biology and biochemistry, so that in the future, I can continue the fascinating research on targeted drug delivery.

wjungSecond Place Winner: Woosung (William) Jung
Grade: 11
Topic: Bioinformatics: Piercing and Pinpointing Moonlighting Proteins and Beyond
Korea International School, South Korea
What are your thoughts about winning Second Place?
I am truly honored to be awarded second place at ISEC 2015. Writing the essay was an exciting process of merging my passionate interest in the world of science. I would like to extend my gratitude to all of my friends, family, and teachers for all the advice I received as well as their wholehearted support.

What did you learn while writing your essay? 
As someone who did not have extensive prior experience with scientific essays, I learned a tremendous amount of valuable research skills in the process. As much as this is research-oriented, I feel that I was also able to challenge myself and push my boundary in terms of eloquent writing.
What do you hope to study in college? 
I hope to study the more fundamental sciences such as physics when I go to college. But I am also equally interested in pursuing computer science due to the vibrant field of information technology.

ktouhidThird Place: Kismat Touhid
Grade: 10 Topic: The Role of Copper in the Future of Public Hygiene
Queens High School for the Sciences at York College, NY, USA

What are your thoughts about winning Third Place?
I’m excited to hear that I’ve been placed third in ISEC 2015. This is the first time I’ve every participated in a writing contest of any  magnitude, and knowing that it is possible to express your ideas to a scientific-journalistic audience and be recognized for it is motivating. I look forward to continuing my education with an emphasis on writing and the sciences.
What did you learn while writing your essay? 
Researching valid sources of evidence to my essay topic really, for a lack of a better phrase, “opened my eyes” to the dormant problem of our microscopic enemies; they continue to adapt to current medical procedures and grow stronger by the day. Learning about the potential for copper being one of the ways to mitigate the spread of harmful pathogens took me by surprise – yet another useful property of a metal humans have worked with for millennia is only now being put to use. This reminds us that there are still so many places left for humans to explore, including areas previously thought to have been studied fully.
What do you hope to study in college? 
I’m not completely sure as to what I want to study in college. Subjects such as medicine, political science, and music all intrigue me, but how I prioritize them in the future is still unknown.

jjungRunner-Up: Jason Jung
Grade: 11
 Topic: Polymers: Building up to Humanity’s Needs
Bergen County Academies, NJ, USA

What are your thoughts about winning Fourth Place?
This entire thing was a great experience for me; I was not only able to learn the history and current state in polymer chemistry, a field that I am interested in, but also share that knowledge with others. To receive this honor has only reinforced that passion.
What did you learn while writing your essay? 
I learned about the origins of polymer chemistry, and what research is being done in it today. Through that, I discovered just how diverse polymers’ applications are. Polyglycolide, for example, is used in scaffolds for tissue engineering, while polyfluorene is being researched for its potential use in LEDs.
What do you hope to study in college? 
I do know that I want to do something in either biology or chemistry, but I am undecided at this point as to what specific major I want to major in.