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Guo named finalist for Alabama Science Scholar, Gorgas Scholarship

MADISON – Sophie Guo of James Clemens High School has qualified as a finalist in the 2018 Alabama Science Scholar Search and Gorgas Scholarship Program.

The Gorgas Scholarship Program is affiliated with Alabama Power Foundation and Alabama Academy of Science. The Gorgas competition strives to promote interest in science and to aid in the education of promising students.

To qualify for a scholarship, entrants must submit a scientific paper describing original research or a project. The student can conduct scientific work in conjunction with a summer science program or year-round supervised work.

Gorgas Scholars compete for more than $10,000 in scholarships. Most Alabama colleges and universities offer additional scholarships.

The program’s namesake is Gen. William Crawford Gorgas, the Alabama physician who conquered yellow fever in the Panama Canal Zone.

The final competition will be held during the annual meeting of the Alabama Academy of Science on March 15-16 at Samford University. The College of Health Sciences at Samford will host this gathering.

In addition to the Gorgas honor, 17-year-old Guo is one of the top 300 scholars in the Regeneron Science Talent Search. This program is one of the country’s oldest and most prestigious competitions for high school seniors. More than 1,800 students entered the 2018 competition. Westinghouse and Intel previously sponsored the contest.

In applying for the Regeneron competition, Guo listed Carol Bohatch as the person who has been most influential in the development of her scientific career. Bohatch teaches science and chemistry at James Clemens.

“Sophie is an outstanding young lady and scholar,” Bohatch said. “She challenges herself by taking the most rigorous courses James Clemens offers. Sophie’s aptitude and desire to make a difference has led her to her current research project.”

For her research topic, Guo studied the detection of ultra-sensitive and rapid e. coli bacteria by using nanoplasmonic biosensor chips and antibody-antigen binding.

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