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DeeAnn Guo, a senior at John Jay High School, has been selected as a semifinalist in the Regeneron Science Talent Search, a prestigious national competition formerly known as the Intel Science Talent Search.
Guo is one of 300 semifinalists, called “Top Scholars,” selected from more than 1,700 applicants. She was chosen for her innovative research on Lucid Dreaming: Its Electrophysiological Correlates and Induction Through Multiple Awakenings.
A lucid dream is a dream during which the dreamer is aware of dreaming and has some degree of control over the dream.“I chose lucid dreaming because I had had a few before, and they were the most disconcerting and bizarre experiences. Flying and magic powers in your sleep: I wanted to know more.” said Guo.
“There is a lack of research into lucid dreaming because of its difficulty to control and its rarity," said Guo. "Something that definitely helped me continue with lucid dreams was its potential as a therapy for PTSD and sleep disorders. These applications need more attention."
Guo traveled to Brazil to research lucid dreaming. “My mentors were Dr. Sidarta Ribeiro and Dr. Natalia Mota, who work in the Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte at the Brain Institute (which they call ICE for Instituto do Cerebro). They taught me so much about science as a profession but also as a way of life.”
Two other John Jay High School students have been recognized by the Regeneron Science Talent Search. Alyssa Ramsay was awarded a Student Initiative Badge for her research on cancer therapies. Karina Heaton received a Quality Research Report Badge for her project on the use of nanoparticles to detect cancer.
All students in John Jay High School’s Senior Science Research class entered the Regeneron Science Talent Search. They worked with teachers Dr. Burke and Mrs. Lipinsky to choose and develop a topic in the schools’ science research programs beginning their sophomore year.
Each project went through a judging process by the Society for Science & the Public and Regeneron. The top 40 finalists will be announced January 24. They will receive an all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C. from March 9 – 15, to compete for 1.8 million in awards, including a $250,000 top price. Semi-finalists receive $2000 and their school gets an additional $2000 grant per student.
The Regeneron Science Talent Search is the nation’s oldest and most prestigious pre-college science competition. It is a program of the Society for Science & the Public and recognizes and empowers the most promising young scientists in the U.S. who are creating the ideas and solutions that solve our most urgent challenges.
John Jay High School's Senior Science Research Class with Dr. Siciliano, Dr. Burke, and Mrs. Lipinsky
“I'm not really sure where I'm going to college yet, but I would like to double major in English and neurobiology. I've always imagined myself to be a writer of some sort, maybe a novelist or a screenwriter. Then, just this past summer, I decided that I couldn't possibly stop being a research scientist,” said Guo. “I'm going to go for both.”