Two South High School students were coauthors of separate articles that were published in peer-reviewed scientific publications. They are Yiqing (Elissa) He, who completed 11th grade, and Annabelle Ng, a recent graduate. Both students did their work as part of last summer’s science research projects at SUNY-Stony Brook University. They were chosen to be article coauthors based on their significant contributions to their overall projects.
He’s article, “A Human Transcription Factor in Search Mode,” appeared in the journal, Nucleic Acids Research. It dealt with proteins, called transcription factors, which serve to turn particular genes on and off within cells. She was involved in trying to figure out how these proteins are able to rapidly scan a tremendous genome in search of these genes. The work was done using computers that simulated the conditions present inside our cells. She worked in the lab of Professor Carlos Simmerling. He was one of the six coauthors of the article. The other authors were college students at Stony Brook or Suffolk Community College.
Ng worked on a protein found in bacteria that allows the bacteria to sense and respond to different light conditions. Her research focused on how this protein works on the molecular level. The protein is basically a light-activated switch that can be used, hopefully, in the future to explore cells like our own. Her article, “Mechanism of the AppABLUF Photocycle Probed by Site-Specific Incorporation of Fluorotyrosine Residues: Effect of the Y21 pKa on the Forward and Reverse Ground-State Reactions,” appeared in the Journal of the American Chemical Society (JACS). Ng worked under the guidance of graduate student Agnieszka Gil in the lab of Professor Peter Tonge. She was one of the article’s 18 authors, most of whom were students at Stony Brook or at universities in Hungary or the United Kingdom. Last fall, Ng was named a semifinalist in the Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology for her work on exploring a future alternative to fossil fuel.
At South High, He and Ng are students of science research teachers Dr. Carol Hersh and Dr. James Truglio.