Five Tri-State Area High School Students Recognized for Neuroscience Achievements at the Annual On the Shoulders of Giants Symposium

New York, NY – The Child Mind Institute presented the 9th Annual Rising Scientist Awards today to five exceptional high school students from the New York metro area who have demonstrated extraordinary promise in research in the fields of mental health, neuroscience or biomedical engineering. The students each received a $2,000 scholarship towards college during the On the Shoulders of Giants Scientific Symposium, the nonprofit’s annual celebration of scientific achievement in child and adolescent psychiatry, psychology, and developmental neuroscience.  The Child Mind Institute’s partner in presenting the Rising Scientist Awards is Hunter College.

The 2019 Rising Scientists join 51 prior award winners who have gone on to study at some of the nation’s most prestigious academic institutions. This year’s winners are:

  • Jacqueline Chan, Livingston High School – Livingston, NJ
  • David Frank, John F. Kennedy High School – Bellmore, NY
  • Gillian Gold, Ardsley High School – Ardsley, NY
  • Abhinav Kumar, Rye Country Day School – Rye, NY
  • Elizabeth Yaboni, Smithtown High School West – Smithtown, NY

“Each recipient of the Rising Scientist Award, even at this young age, is already working to change the way we understand mental health disorders,” said Child Mind Institute co-founder and president Harold S. Koplewicz, MD.  “We are delighted to honor these inspiring, young scientists – all active and engaged members of their high school communities — who are well on their way to joining the ranks of the next generation of researchers.”

“We are so pleased to partner with the Child Mind Institute on this year’s Rising Scientist Awards,” said Jennifer J. Raab, president of Hunter College. “Not only was Hunter College privileged to have been a part of the review of so many wonderful nominations, we were especially impressed by the five winners. As 11th graders, they already have the intellectual curiosity to ask the difficult scientific questions, and they all have incredible academic careers ahead of them.”

The Rising Scientist Awards, which are granted annually, were designed to encourage young researchers’ academic pursuits and introduce them to the scientific community.  Each spring, the Child Mind Institute – this year in partnership with Hunter College – invites New York-area high schools to nominate one exemplary 11th grade science student candidate for this honor. The nomination is based on outstanding achievement and interest in mental health, neuroscience research, or biomedical engineering and a commitment to understanding and addressing difficult scientific questions, as evidenced by special projects, presentations and/or publications.

The winners, their parents and faculty sponsors were invited to attend a reception with special guest John Weisz, PhD, Professor of Psychology, Harvard University. Dr. Weisz was recognized as the recipient of the 2019 Sarah Gund Prize for Research and Mentorship.

Rising Scientist nominations were reviewed by a committee of mental health experts including:

  • Ron Steingard, MD, associate medical director of the Child Mind Institute; Professor of Psychiatry, University of Massachusetts Medical School
  • Diana P. Bratu PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, Hunter College
  • Alexandre Franco, MD, PhD, research scientist at the Child Mind Institute and the Nathan S. Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research
  • Michael Strober PhD, Professor, Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, UCLA School of Medicine

Dr. Steingard chaired the committee, which considered the merits of all nominations and used a point system to rate scientific achievement and to select the winners.

About the Child Mind Institute

The Child Mind Institute is an independent, national nonprofit dedicated to transforming the lives of children and families struggling with mental health and learning disorders. Our teams work every day to deliver the highest standards of care, advance the science of the developing brain, and empower parents, professionals and policymakers to support children when and where they need it most. Together with our supporters, we’re helping children reach their full potential in school and in life. We share all of our resources freely and do not accept any funding from the pharmaceutical industry. Learn more at www.childmind.org

About Hunter College

Located in the heart of Manhattan, is the largest senior college in the City University of New York (CUNY) Founded in 1870, it is also one of the oldest public colleges in the country. More than 23,000 students currently attend Hunter, pursuing undergraduate and graduate degrees in more than 170 areas of study. Hunter’s student body is as diverse as New York City itself. For more than 140 years, Hunter has provided educational opportunities for women and minorities, and today, students from every walk of life and every corner of the world attend Hunter. In addition to offering a multitude of academic programs in its prestigious School of Arts and Sciences, Hunter offers a wide breadth of programs in its preeminent Schools of Education, Nursing, Social Work, Health Professions, and Urban Public Health.