Five local students earn prestigious science honors

The exterior of the San Dieguito Union High School District office in Encinitas.
The exterior of the San Dieguito Union High School District office in Encinitas.
(Karen Billing)

Five San Dieguito Union High School District seniors were named among the top scholars in the country in the Regeneron Science Talent Search 2022, the nation’s oldest and most prestigious science and math competition for high school seniors, according to a SDUHSD news release.

Honorees from the San Dieguito district include Ayush Agrawal (Canyon Crest Academy), Daniel Cai (Torrey Pines High School), Ryan Clairmont (Canyon Crest Academy), Andrew Gao (Canyon Crest Academy) and Ryan Huang (Canyon Crest Academy). All five as well as their school will be awarded $2,000 each from the Society for Science.

The Regeneron Science Talent Search selected 30 scholars from 1,804 applications received from 603 high schools across 46 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and eight other countries. Scholars were chosen based on their exceptional research skills, commitment to academics, innovative thinking and promise as scientists as demonstrated through the submission of their original, independent research projects, essays and recommendation.

SDUHSD honorees
Ayush Agrawal, 17, Canyon Crest Academy
Project title: Detection of Arsenic Contamination Using Satellite Imagery and Machine Learning

Daniel Cai, 18, Torrey Pines High School
Project title: Deep Learning-Aided Diagnosis of Autoimmune Blistering Diseases

Ryan Clairmont, 17, Canyon Crest Academy
Project title: Evolution of the Cat’s Eye Nebula Revealed through Morpho-Kinematic and Hydrodynamic Modeling

Andrew Gao, 18, Canyon Crest Academy
Project title: Doctor PEPper: Novel Antiviral Peptide Generation via Bioactivity and Hemolysis Aware Approach

Ryan Huang, 17, Canyon Crest Academy
Project title: Multiplex Immuno-Strips With Object Detection Simultaneously Quantify Titers of Antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 and Influenza Virus

On Jan. 20, 40 of the 300 scholars will be named Regeneron Science Talent Search finalists. The finalists will then compete for more than $1.8 million in awards during a week-long competition taking place March 10-16.

Program alumni include recipients of the world’s most coveted science and math honors, including 13 Nobel Prizes, 11 National Medals of Science, six Breakthrough Prizes, 22 MacArthur Foundation Fellowships and two Fields Medals.

A complete listing of honorees can be found at