LARCHMONT, N.Y. --Mark Alexander recently traveled to Geilo, Norway to present his research project at a three-day international conference, which made him realize science is the career he wants to pursue.
Alexander, a senior at Mamaroneck High School (MHS), impressed the International Federation of Placenta Association judges with his research on the effects of the amino acid taurine on the human placenta, but even more so with his age.
"I was one of the only high school students there," said Alexander, who was the first high school student ever to present his research at the International Federation of Placenta Associations (IFPA). "The award ceremony was pretty informal, a lot of doctors drinking champagne, while I had apple juice."
The Larchmont resident was one of about eight to receive the National Institutes of Health Travel Award, which paid for a portion of his trip. He was presented with his award at a ceremony before the presentations.
Fellow presenters told the member of the MHS Original Science Research program , for which he is conducting his research, that science was a good career, as long as you enjoy it.
"I think it gave me insight, not only into how science works, but it solidified my opinion on exploring a science-oriented career," he said. "I guess that's a big part of it."
Alexander took the opportunity to network with his fellow presenters, many of whom were PhD candidates with more resources and time to devote to their research, he said.
"He's a kid with a lot of natural aptitude for science, the concepts come to him easily and he works hard," said Guido Garbarino, head of the OSR program.
Looking ahead, Alexander has many college applications and domestic science competitions, which will dominate much of his time. He is considering New York University and Northwestern University.
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