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Neha, Puja Chopade’s research with Harvard mentors published in journal

MADISON – Neha Chopade and Puja Chopade again have collaborated in technical study. Their research led leaders in the discipline to publish an article in a scientific journal.

Neha Chopade and Puja Chopade, who are twins, are seniors at Bob Jones High School. Their research in summer 2021 led to publishing of their article in the peer-reviewed “Journal of Bioengineering and Translational Medicine (BioTM)” on Aug. 3, 2022. For more information, visit aiche.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/btm2.1036.

Respected researchers in the field peer-review and critique articles. The work is published only if it is original and contains significance. The current Impact Factor of the “Journal of Bioengineering and Translational Medicine” is 7.09, ranking the journal ‘very important’ in the field.

For Bioengineering and Translational Medicine, the Chopades researched therapies for Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease for six-plus weeks last summer. They contributed equally to the study while working with career professionals in the field.

The Chopade sisters learned that those two diseases are “the most prevalent neurodegenerative diseases, affecting millions and costing billions each year in the United States alone.” Despite dramatic progress in developing therapeutics that manage the diseases’ symptoms, scientists have not developed a treatment that effectively slows or cures neurodegeneration.

The Chopades researched the clinical trials database and analyzed data from about 1,000 clinical trials in each Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. Their work culminated in writing a comprehensive review article during their junior year of school, 2021-2022.

For their abstract document, Neha and Puja wrote, “Overall, this review aims to provide a succinct overview of the clinical landscape of AD and PD therapies to better understand the field’s therapeutic strategy in the past and the field’s evolution in approach to the present.”

Their end goal was to better inform about future methods to effectively treat AD and PD.

Neha and Puja’s mentors were staff members with the Mitrogotri Lab at Harvard University: Professor Samir Mitragotri; Vinit Suja, post-doctorate; and Rick Lao, post-doctorate.

Mitragotri’s research, focused on fundamental understanding of biological barriers, has led to development of new materials and technologies for diagnosis and treatment of various ailments, including diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular diseases, skin conditions and infections. (wyss.harvard.edu)

In their review, professionals stated that the Chopades’ manuscripts were “particularly well represented (in) areas including drug delivery, gene therapy, siRNA delivery, regenerative medicine, nanomedicine, biomedical devices and cell therapy.”

Because Puja and Neha worked as primary contributors, they appeared as “First Authors” (or equal contribution) in the article’s author list.

As of Aug. 5, both sisters were out-of-state in scientific pursuits. Puja is finishing six weeks of internship with Research Science Institute at Massachusetts Institute of Technology or MIT; she is working on a research project studying mitochondria and cancer cells. Neha is finishing six weeks of research internship at a biotech company in Boston, Mass.; she is studying the delivery of medicines through the skin.

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