Personal mission drives deep research

 Heather’s research looked at the beneficial effects of immediate intensive treatment of hyperglycemia and the observation that they are maintained for many years, regardless of glycemia, in the later course of diabetes. She developed her inquiry through John Jay’s Science Research program and worked with Dr. Zaho Wang, Principle Investigator, and Dr. Chao Li, Post Doctorate student, at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in the summer of 2018.  

Finding ways to prevent chronic diabetic complications is a personal mission for Heather.

“I am a type 1 diabetic,” said Heather. “I not only want to do something that would possibly better my health in the future but change the narrative of diabetics. Finding the cure isn’t the most sustainable option at the moment. The most important thing is to minimize the effects it can have on the body. Control the diabetes. After that, look for a cure.”

"An outstanding research project!"

“Heather's enthusiasm for her research, her dedication to the work in the lab and her ability to apply all she learned in AP Biology resulted in a deep understanding of the cellular processes involved with metabolic memory in diabetes and an outstanding research project,” said Annmarie Lipinsky, instructional leader for science at John Jay High School and head of its Science Research program. “Heather's work is truly extraordinary and the data was so promising that her mentor will be continuing the research.”

Heather credits her ability to research at this high level to all of the science and math teachers she’s had at John Jay High School, and highlights the two Science Research teachers she’s had, in particular.

“The two people who’ve had the most impact on my ability to go this far and have this in-depth of a project are Dr. Burke and Ms. Lipinsky,” said Heather. “Without either of them, I would not be able to be even close to where I am now.”