Jay Zussman, a senior at South High School, copped a top national award in the 2014 Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology, one of the most prestigious student competitions in the science community. He was named a national finalist in the Individual Category, one of six Individual winners and the only one from New York State. Jay earned a $20,000 scholarship. He had been named a Siemens Semifinalist in mid-October, advanced to become a regional finalist, and now a national finalist. This is the first time a South High student has won a top prize in the Siemens competition.
Jay’s project is “Zip1 C-terminal phosphorylation promotes Zip1-Sgs1 interaction in meiotic cells.” His study characterizes the importance and detailed chemistry of the interaction of two proteins involved in meiosis, a type of cell division in sexual reproduction that is essential to the maintenance of genetic diversity and may help scientists understand the beginnings of incapacitating diseases.
Dr. Carol Hersh and Dr. James Truglio are Jay’s science research teachers at South High. Dr. Hersh said of Jay, “He is an exceptional student who has tremendous enthusiasm for science and research. He put in a great deal of effort to develop a thorough understanding of his topic, to collect a lot of data, to come up with appropriate conclusions, and to figure out how to present his findings in a paper and presentation in a clear and complete manner. Jay’s success in the Siemens competition is the result of talent, genuine interest in science, and a lot of hard work.”