DaVinci Science Center

H/Student Excellence Award Winner: Miranda Song

Student Excellence Award Winner: Miranda Song

Miranda is incredibly passionate about research, medicine, and computer science.  She interns at the PA Biotechnology Center and is working on creating a drug that counteracts the aging process in cells and helps the body generate more integrin protein, improving cell-to-cell communication.  Inspired by research done on regenerative medicine and with the help of Dr. John Kulp, Miranda used simulation software and made samples of integrin by growing it in bacterial cells to prepare for lab trials.  After doing this research, Miranda wanted to help underserved students pursue similar facets of experiential learning, and was invited to join the non-profit organization STEM Experiential Learning Foundation  (SELF).  She acts as a student administrator responsible for finance, and she has organized events throughout Philadelphia that connect students with STEM professionals and open their minds to new possibilities.  Miranda is currently working on expanding her efforts into Southern New Jersey.

Wanting to bring similar opportunities into her own school, Miranda co-founded the STEM Research Club, where students participate in formal academic research projects.  She helped students write their research plans and connected them with mentors working in various STEM fields.  In addition, Miranda was in charge of the HOSA Future Health Professionals competition at her school, increasing student involvement and training new leaders to grow and improve the club.  Competing in HOSA herself, Miranda claimed the title for first place in Pennsylvania two years in a row and qualified for the competition at the international level two years in a row.  She placed sixth internationally in the Medical Math event, the highest recognition a student has received in Central Bucks South HOSA history.  She is also the record holder for the greatest number of questions correct by a Central Bucks South HOSA student.   

Miranda is also very involved in her community: she is the co-president and team captain of MiniTHON, raising funds to support cancer research, and her school has raised over $100,000 in the last three years.  Miranda is a tutor at Team Song Tutoring, where she helps academically struggling students in the Bucks County area in elementary math and reading/grammar, and high school Algebra II, Pre-Calculus, Honors Biology, and Honors English.  Miranda is also in the French National Honors Society, winning a fluency award, and is a tennis varsity athlete.  She hopes to study computer science and business administration in college, and wants to become a leader in the groundbreaking computer science industries of the future.

In her own words…

“I am an avid learner of science in day-to-day life. For instance, every Monday last summer, in sneaking into Room 100 at the Geisinger medical school Doylestown campus, I became enamored with the idea of human STING – a protein inside virtually all immune cells in the human body – that upon binding to a specific drug, can stimulate an immune response. When this response meets a virus that proliferates uncontrollably – causing cancer – it cannot match the uncontrolled cell growth. However, in introducing a mutated version of the STING protein that binds to a manmade drug into only the cancerous cells, the mutated STING can trigger cancerous cell death and leave healthy cells unharmed: a potential cure to cancer”

“To find a drug compound that would help the body generate more integrin protein, I used the computer simulation software Schrödinger’s Maestro. This window into computer science was fascinating to me: I could speedily generate and analyze hundreds of thousands of accurate data points through cloud computing with only the click of a button. In addition, I was just as intrigued by the management roles garnering funding, negotiating company contracts, and transacting resources to help the scientists. Having explored computational biology and management policy, I became interested in studying computer science and the business aspect of science research.”

Acceptance Speech

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