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Midland Students Win DCAT Awards at 2018 Intel Science Fair

Midland Student Winners

Robbinsville, NJ, USA  May 22, 2018 – The Drug, Chemical & Associated Technologies Association (DCAT) is proud to announce the winners of four scholarships presented at the Intel International Science & Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF) Special Awards Ceremony on May 17th in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. As a Special Awards Organization, DCAT awarded $3,000 to four student projects and contributed $3,000 to the ISEF Education Outreach that brought 2,500 local students, many from underserved communities and schools, to view the exhibits and participate in hands-on science activities.

Daniel Zhang and Brandon Zhu, seniors at Herbert Henry Dow High School in Midland, Michigan won for their project, Release of Active Pharmaceuticals Using Hyperbranched Polyesters.  Their research was conducted during a summer internship at Michigan State University’s St. Andrews facility in Midland.

They studied the rate of release by hydrolysis of three APIs: naproxen, salicylic acid, and hydrocortisone from hyperbranched polyesters (HBPEs) of different hydrophilic/hydrophobic balance and solubility.  They found that altering the composition of the HBPE, significantly changed the release rate of the API, demonstrating that the HBPE platform can be used for sustained release of APIs and to control the rate of enzymatic release. Daniel and Brandon will both be attending the University of Michigan in the fall where they will study computer engineering and biochemistry respectively.

Intel ISEF is the world’s largest international pre-college science competition. Each year, Intel ISEF brings together approximately 1,800 high school students from more than 75 countries, regions and territories to showcase their independent research and compete for an average of $5 million in total prizes.Award Winners

“This event brings together such a diverse group of accomplished young individuals,” said Scott Price, Chairperson of DCAT’s Science & Scholarship Committee and Vice President, Sales at Ren-Pharm International, Ltd.  “The level of knowledge and enthusiasm these kids have for STEM fields is unbelievable and gives us all a strong sense that our future is in good hands.”

Prior to the event, DCAT’s Science and Scholarship Committee evaluated hundreds of project abstracts to establish a target list to be judged at the fair.  Mr. Price and Jennifer Lavanture, a committee volunteer and Associate Director, Business Development at Rhodes Pharmaceuticals, traveled to Pittsburgh to evaluate the science fair exhibits, interview the students, and determine the winners.

As an ISEF alumni and Grand Award winner, Ms. Lavanture has first-hand knowledge of the benefits of participating in this event. “ISEF expands student’s horizons. They meet committed, capable students from around the globe and are exposed to a broad range of ideas from both a theoretical and practical perspective. It is an experience that they will carry forward into their education and career. “

DCAT’s participation as a Special Awards Organization at Intel ISEF is an investment in the future of science by supporting young scholars who represent the geographic regions and areas of study that reflect the global membership of DCAT.

The additional winners of the DCAT Award Scholarships at Intel ISEF 2018 include: Colette Benko, a senior at St. Mary’s High School in Calgary, Alberta; Sasha Ronaghi, a sophmore at Sage Hill School in Newport Coast, California; and Fionn Ferreira, a junior at Schull Community College in Schull, County Cork, Ireland.

About DCAT

As a not-for-profit, member-supported business development association for the global pharmaceutical manufacturing industry, the Drug, Chemical & Associated Technologies Association (DCAT) is committed to providing programs, events, and services that help our members expand their network of customers, suppliers, and colleagues in the industry. Founded in 1890, DCAT is the industry’s premier business development association whose membership is comprised of companies that manufacture, distribute or provide services to the pharmaceutical, chemical and related industries. With over 450 corporate members, DCAT is headquartered in Robbinsville, New Jersey.

Erin Sanders
DCAT Senior Communications & Technology Specialist