Sachem Science Duo Shines Through Brain Imaging Research

Sachem Science Duo Shines Through Brain Imaging Research photo
Sachem Science Duo Shines Through Brain Imaging Research photo 2
Innovation and collaboration serve as the staples for success in the science research laboratory at Sachem High School East as two juniors continue to conduct advanced brain imaging research in connection with the Department of Radiology at Stony Brook University.

Since September, Ian Limjoco and Vincent Zhang have been working side by side on a study to identify gray matter lesions in the subcortical structures of the human brain brought on by multiple sclerosis. With help from a special high-powered computer provided by Sachem administration, the students have the ability to remotely access anonymous patient data and run analysis software to analyze fMRI brain scans. Utilizing the ITK-Snap 3D imaging software, the duo creates segmented renderings of patient data that is then studied in an effort to improve brain analysis techniques in the scans of multiple sclerosis patients. The students hope to identify where impairments become apparent in the patient’s bodily function by identifying the location of the lesions in the gray matter. 

“This is the closest we have come to working with human subjects,” Limjoco said. “This program has allowed us to advance our research through human connection.”

The ongoing collaborative research efforts led by Dr. Tim Duong, Stony Brook University’s vice chair for research, radiology, provides the Sachem scientists with countless educational opportunities as they progress through their research. Working in connection with medical students, Limjoco and Zhang have had the chance to attend college-level pillar courses studying MRI radiology and access labs that aren’t normally available to students until graduate-level college courses. 

“All of the institution-level research we conduct is an incredible introduction that supports my pre-medical aspirations,” Zhang said.  

Limjoco and Zhang recently presented their research at the Long Island Science Congress at St. Anthony’s High School and aim to continue their gray matter research into the summer.