Student Scientists

A team of students from Canyon Crest Academy (CCA) recently made their way to MIT to showcase the results of their scientific research at the International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM), an international competition for high school and undergraduate students.

CCA’s iGEM team was founded only in 2014 but has worked hard over the last year on a continually monitoring glucose sensor, which are most commonly used to measure blood sugar levels. The team is currently working to computationally model the sensor, which will light up in the presence of glucose. “At the moment, treatment for glucose-related diseases such as diabetes and hypoglycemia require constant supervision of blood sugar levels, usually by drawing a small sample of blood from the patient and then injecting them with insulin, which is uncomfortable, and the repetitiveness of which is often restricting,” explained team co-president and CCA junior Julia Wisnia.

The team showcased their research project at this year’s competition in Massachusetts by preparing a 25-minute presentation discussing the origins of the project idea, the research process, experiments, and results. In addition to the oral presentation, the team created a website over the course of the year. CCA’s team consisted of seniors Ravi Agarwal, Ariel Braunstein, Harrison Harris, and Amanda Matheson; juniors Vivian Patton, Olivia Shiah; and sophomore Maggie Chen. Junior Miya Coimbra serves as co-president of the team. On the additional help they received with their project, Julia shared, “I would just like to thank our awesome UCSD mentors, Benjamin Kellman and Sophia Hirakis for guiding us this year and providing us with this opportunity, and our amazing supervisor Mrs. Eddingfield at CCA.”

For more information on the iGEM competition visit, and to learn more about the student’s glucose sensor project visit