RYE BROOK, N.Y. -- Students from Rye Brook, Bedford and Mahopac were awarded the Acorda Scientific Excellence Award for their achievements in scientific research at a special ceremony Thursday evening in White Plains.
The awards program was launched by Acorda Therapeutics, a biotechnology company based in Ardsley, as well as WFAS-AM and the Westchester County Youth Bureau and Office of Economic Development.
The students were congratulated by Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino and interviewed live on WFAS-AM by Lisa Wexler, where they got to explain their research projects and talk about their future plans.
The awards were given to five students from Blind Brook High School -- Jason Rosenberg, Kyle M. O'Neil, Justin Cray, William Saunders and Josephine Yalovitser -- as well as Alexandra Fall of Mahopac High School and Charlotte Herber of Fox Lane High School.
Rosenberg studied how mRNA travels to different areas of nerve cells. O'Neil's project focused on chirality of cells and how it relates to birth defects. Cray wrote programming for software that allows multiple computers to run parallel simulations. Saunders used radio telescopes to study remnants of supernovas.
Yalovitser played music for seniors suffering from Alzheimer's and dementia and studied its effects on their cognitive ability.
Fall worked on developing a quicker method for detecting Lyme disease. Herber worked on a method to immunization to treat the causes of Alzheimer's.
Tierney Saccavino, the senior vice president of corporate communications for Acorda, said that the company teamed with Wexler to highlight and support the next generation of scientists and researchers.
"We loved the idea of supporting local students in the community, we loved the idea of shining a spotlight on some of this work that was being done. And hopefully, as a by-product, to encourage more students to choose a career in science or medicine or math or engineering and really make an important difference in the world," Saccavino said.
"I think these kids are amazing. I think their passion and enthusiasm for what they're doing is inspiring. I think it's fantastic that these kids are being singled out for their dedication to an intellectual endeavor," Wexler said.
Individual interviews with each of the students will air Sundays at 9 a.m. on WSAF-AM, and are also available for listening on Wexler's website.