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North Jersey Teen Wins $25G For Groundbreaking Correlation Between MS, Osteoporosis

Deena Shefter of Ridgewood, 17.
Deena Shefter of Ridgewood, 17. Photo Credit: Deena Shefter

A North Jersey teen is one of 20 students from across the U.S. to be recognized for projects that have the potential to benefit society.

Deena Shefter of Ridgewood, 17, won a $25,000 Davidson Fellows Scholarship for her project, Modeling the Effects of Vasoactive Intestinal Peptide on Pre-Osteoblast Differentiation.

The Bergen Academies student's fascination with diseases of the nervous system inspired her to investigate the connection between multiple sclerosis (MS) and osteoporosis, conditions that affect millions of people globally.

Considering that osteoporosis and MS impact different organ systems, Shefter decided to study their commonalities. She discovered that peptide natural transmitter of nervous signals can be used as a potential treatment for patients diagnosed with osteoporosis and MS.

Shefter and the other 2018 Davidson Fellows will be honored at a reception in Washington D.C. next month.

In the fall Shefter will attend Columbia University to study neuroscience.

The Davidson Fellows Scholarship program offers $50,000, $25,000 and $10,000 college scholarships to students 18 or younger, who have completed significant projects that have the potential to benefit society in the fields of science, technology, engineering, mathematics, literature and music. The Davidson Fellows Scholarship has provided more than $7.5 million in scholarship funds to more than 300 students since its inception in 2001, and has been named one of the most prestigious undergraduate scholarships by U.S. News & World Report. It is a program of the Davidson Institute for Talent Development, a national nonprofit organization headquartered in Reno, Nev. that supports profoundly gifted youth.

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