Central Senior Earns Honors in Siemens Competition

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Central High School senior Katie Mazalkova earned national honors in the prestigious 2014 Siemens Competition in Math, Science and Technology.

Mazalkova and her research partner, Jericho High School student William Crugnola, were lauded for their research project titled “Aortic derived mesenchymal stem cells: A novel treatment for atherosclerosis cessation.” At Molloy College laboratories, Mazalkova studied the immune response of macrophage cells that causes plaque buildup and can ultimately contribute to the development of heart disease. Understanding the interaction between this response and a specific line of stem cells found in the heart can be used to discover new ways to treat and cure atherosclerosis.

Mazalkova and Crugnola were recently awarded a $30,000 scholarship for the team category at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. They will share the award.

Mazalkova was among 20 students from across the country who presented their projects to a group of nationally renowned scientists and mathematicians.

This new achievement comes after Mazalkova and Crugnola presented their research to leading scientists at Carnegie Mellon University as part of the competition, and won in the team category. They were each awarded a $4,000 scholarship.

“Katie Mazalkova embodies an initiative we have at Central called ‘grit,’” said Central High School Principal Dr. Joseph Pompilio. “Katie worked countless hours that evolved into years on a complex research process that involved hard work, determination and resilience. She demonstrated grit which resulted in a monumental achievement noted by our nation. I am proud of her for representing Central in such a poised and distinguished manner. Katie’s success stands as a model for the power of knowledge and education.”

The district and Central High School administration congratulate her on her outstanding achievement.