Harriton High School senior wins prestigious national science award

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By KYW Newsradio 1060
LOWER MERION TOWNSHIP, Pa. (KYW Newsradio) — A Harriton High School student takes home second-place in a national science and math competition along with a $175,000 prize.  Samuel Weissman is 17 and about to graduate high school in three years. He got second place out of thousands of entries in the Regeneron Science Talent Search.

He spent last week with 39 other finalists.

“So many amazing projects, people were computationally modeling how the flu virus was evading vaccines, there were plenty of math projects that I couldn’t begin to understand the theories they proved. Everyone was so amazing," he said. 

Weissman won for his research into HIV. 

“We still can't cure the virus, and whenever individuals with HIV stop taking medication, the virus comes back," he said. 

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His recently published research gives insight to how the virus survives treatment.

It all started when he was a kid, fascinated by the immune system. When he was in seventh grade, he convinced his friend's mom to let him tail her at the lab where she worked. 

“She was kind of hesitant to accept because she worked with HIV and I was in seventh grade, so it was risk," Weissman said. 

His research bloomed from there.

He says he plans to take a gap year to continue his research and hopes to one day to pursue an MD-PhD so he can continue research but also interact with and treat patients.