Hudson County STEM Showcase, Presented by Jersey City Medical Center, Celebrates 65th Year

Two McNair Academy High School students from Jersey City, Aditya Jain and Ehtesham Suhail, participated in the Regeneron ISEF (International Science and Engineering Fair) competition in Dallas, May 14-19, 2023, after emerging as gold-medal winners at the 65th annual Hudson County STEM Showcase.

In addition to hosting the STEM Showcase each year, the Medical Center sponsored Jain and Suhail’s trip to the competition.

“It’s exciting to have the opportunity to study computer science or engineering and to collaborate with experts who can guide me on my journey,” said Jain, 17.

Jain’s project involved developing a program and algorithm that detects human activities on the tracks to prevent trespasser fatalities in New Jersey Transit rail lines. This system detects and warns the train driver to stop in time. Suhail’s project tested the effect of curcumin and fish oils (omega-3 fatty acids) on inhibiting neuroinflammation and neuronal apoptosis via LPS induction.

Suhail, also 17, said he had always been fascinated by neurological disorders and the potential of natural resources in medicine and pharmaceuticals.

“My interest in alternative medicine led me to work in a lab where I could explore gaps in the medical market and focus on clinical trials. My goal is to study biology or biomedical engineering and become a doctor,” Suhail said, adding, “Through my work with TrueBinding Inc., a San Francisco-based company, I have discovered the potential of alternative treatments in decreasing inflammation, which may have implications for future anti-inflammatory medicines.”

Suhail received the fourth place medal at the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair in the Transformational Medicine category.

Kay O'Malley, director of the STEM Showcase, a program with a 65-year history of excellence in New Jersey's educational landscape, notes that local students presented their independent or team research to STEM professionals during the program. “This exchange of ideas allows for critique and guidance from experienced professionals in the fields to which the students aspire, making the program prestigious and valuable for students,” O’Malley said.

The program is exclusively for Hudson County students, and for seven years, the Medical Center has been the presenting sponsor. The program has been virtual the past three years.

The goal of the program is to facilitate interactions between judges and students. Judges are engineers, doctors, researchers, and other professionals who judge the projects. The STEM Showcase has facilitated connections between students and judges, with many kids gaining mentorship opportunities, including working in a lab in the summer.