Lanair Lett, North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics, Durham, NC
Histone Deacetylase 1 (HDAC-1) Increases β-cell Proliferation in 832/13 β-Cells and Primary Rat Islets
Mr. Lett’s biochemistry project has the potential to optimize treatments for Diabetes, a disease that affects millions of people each year, through a better understanding of Beta cell growth. He examined a specific protein's potential for improving therapeutic methods for treating Diabetes. Diabetes is the fifth leading cause of death in America; its symptoms often leading to a manifestation into five of the top ten causes, such as heart disease. His mentor for this project was Dr. Jeffery Tessem, a Post-Doctoral Fellow, and Sarah W. Stedman, at the Nutrition and Metabolism Center at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina.
Mr. Lett is a senior from Henderson, North Carolina, who serves as the Lifestyles editor of the Stentorian, his school newspaper. Mr. Lett was most recently on the Regional Science Bowl Team from his school, which won second place at the event. Mr. Lett also participates in the Science Educational Experience for High School Students (Project SEED) Research Program, and volunteers as his school’s Student Ambassador and at the H. Leslie Perry Memorial Library. Mr. Lett suffers from Diabetes, as do his mother and grandmother, and it was this personal experience that inspired him to conduct research pertaining to the disease. The Siemens Competition in Math Science & Technology is his first research competition. Mr. Lett considers his grandmother – who runs a 24-hr daycare, Nana's Nest, in Youngstown, Ohio – as his personal hero, because to him she is the epitome of self-sacrifice and dedication. Mr. Lett’s dream job would be to work as a medical doctor while doing research involving metabolism and bioenergetics.