“Big D” Takes Home Category Win at International Science Fair

May 16, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-05-16 at 10.28.31 AMBethel, Maine (May 16, 2015) – What’s better than winning at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF)? According to Gould Academy junior Demetri Maxim, also known as “Big D” to friends and faculty, absolutely nothing.

“It was probably the best day of my life,” Demetri is quoted saying in today’s Portland Press Herald.

Demetri gained entry into this year’s Intel ISEF, an event that he considers to be “the super bowl of science fairs,” by winning the Maine State Science Fair back in March. And, although this was Demetri’s second consecutive Maine State Science Fair win and his second consecutive entry into Intel ISEF, Friday’s win at this year’s Pittsburgh-based event was a first.

Demetri’s science project, “Directed Differentiation of Human Pluripotent Stem Cells into Functional Kidney Cells that Form Nephrons in Kidney Scaffolds” was enough to win first place in the Cellular and Molecular Biology Category and qualify him for an all expense paid trip to India this summer where Demetri will present his project to research institutions and universities in India and interact with the key scientific leaders. Demetri will also win $5,000 for himself and a $1,000 grant for Gould Academy.

If that weren’t already enough, “all category winners will have an asteroid named after them thanks to Intel and MIT Lincoln Laboratory, so D has that to look forward to as well!” said Demetri’s father Merritt in a recent Facebook post congratulating his son.

The long and short of what Demetri has uncovered with his scientific research, and why he dove into kidney regeneration research to begin with, was summed up nicely in the first line of today’s Press Herald’s interview with Demetri: “If all goes as planned, Demetri Maxim will have figured out a way to grow a human kidney from skin cells by the time he is likely to need his own transplant.”

More on Demetri’s Intel ISEF win can be found in the Press Herald article here. More bout Demetri Maxim’s journey up until this point can be read in the Spring 2015 issue of the GAzette.

Please join all of here at Gould Academy in congratulating Demetri on his huge win!

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