ARMONK, N.Y. – Byram Hills High School senior Brett Roston has been named one of only four students in the nation to win the Neuroscience Research Prize.
The annual contest, held by the American Academy of Neurology and the Child Neurology Society, recognized Roston for his project exploring Alzheimer’s disease.
Roston's work focuses on a marker of Alzheimer’s disease called neurofibrillary tangles, which are twisted threads found inside nerve cells.
Roston, who won $1,000, has honed in on the cascading events leading to abnormal tangles and has examined how alterations made to brain enzymes may protect against their forming.
He hopes his research may identify an area for future drug therapy and other treatment that can one day slow the start of the most common form of dementia.
Roston completed his project through the 3-year Dr. Robert Pavlica Authentic Science Research Program, which gives students the chance to work independently under faculty supervision while learning how to conduct and present research.
He spent last summer working with mentor Dr. Fei Liu at the N.Y. Institute of Basic Research in Developmental Disabilities on Staten Island.
“I loved it,” said Roston of his summer experience. “I loved seeing how all of the projects were interrelated, and, over time, becoming part of the community.”
Roston will travel to San Diego, Calif., in March with his father to the annual meeting of the Academy of Neurology.
“I’m really excited about that,” said Roston.
Roston, who also plays for the high school varsity soccer team and is a member of the Academic Challenge Team, will attend the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in the fall.
Along with studying business there, he hopes to continue his research work on Alzheimer’s disease.