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entries tagged with: Bram Boroson


Frisch student Zachary Neugut’s cancer project makes semifinals in Siemens competition

Zachary Neugut plans to spend a year in Israel. Courtesy Frisch School

Zachary Neugut, a 17-year-old senior at The Frisch School in Paramus, was selected as one of 300 national semi-finalists from more than 2,000 applicants in the prestigious Siemens Competition in Math, Science, and Technology for his research project on cancer.

For the last three summers, Zachary has worked at a laboratory at Columbia University investigating why some cancers are recurrent and resist chemotherapy. The answer may be that these cancers arise from stem cells, which can then start cancer anew when moved to other areas of the body.

At Columbia, Zachary worked with Dr. Igor Matushansky, identifying cancer stem cells in sarcomas. The 25-page paper that earned Zachary the award was titled “Identifying Sarcoma Stem Cells Through Surface Marker Profiling of Sarcoma Cell Lines with Higher Tumorigenic Potential,” a mouthful that Zachary himself does not keep memorized.

In summarizing his paper for the competition, he wrote, in part, “The traditional theory of the origin of cancer is the multistage model of carcinogenesis, in which cancer is caused by a series of mutations to the DNA that cause cells to have uncontrolled growth. However, a new theory hypothesizes that a small segment of the cancer cell population, cancer stem cells, is the cause of the abnormal growth of cancer. My work focused on understanding whether either (or both) of these models are applicable to sarcomas, which are malignancies arising in connective tissue.”

“Dr. Matushansky,” Zachary said in an e-mail to The Jewish Standard, “helped me gain a complete understanding of all the current theories about cancer, and the various projects being done by the leaders in research to combat cancer.”

He added that the overall experience “helped give me a sense of how a real job will be in the future. It helped me understand how important hard work is, as I devoted three summers to having a 40-hour work-week instead of working in a summer camp…. The project really helped me gain an understanding of what a profession in the medical field would be like.”

Zachary credits Frisch and in particular his teacher Albert Tarendash with supporting his interests. On the side, Zachary is captain of the chess team and active on the debate and math teams. His parents are Elyssa and Dr. Alfred Neugut, an oncologist who suggested a research adviser for him. He follows in the footsteps of his sister, who was named a semifinalist for a study of arsenic poisoning in Bangladesh.

Zachary is still in contention to be a finalist in the Siemens-Westinghouse competition.

“In the future,” he said, “I’m hoping to spend a year in Israel, go to Columbia University and major in physics, and then see where that takes me.”


Jewish Standard sweeps the field

Newspaper racks up journalism awards

From left, Warren Boroson, Rebecca Boroson, Josh Lipowsky, and Miryam Wahrman display their NJSPJ awards. photo by Israel Wahrman Winners Lois Goldrich, inset left, and Bram Boroson, inset right, were not at Sunday’s ceremony.

The Jewish Standard received seven awards, including four for first place, at the annual awards luncheon Sunday at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark of the New Jersey Society of Professional Journalists.

In the weekly newspaper division, a team of three — Rebecca Boroson, Lois Goldrich, and Josh Lipowsky — placed first in state for regional news for a mulitpart cover story “Sacred Space?” about the planned mosque near Ground Zero. (Boroson is the newspaper’s editor. Goldrich and Lipowsky, both former associate editors, continue to free-lance for the paper.)

The judges wrote, “This section explores one of the most sensitive topics of public discussion and news coverage of recent years through the thoughts and opinion of various people, including rabbis and other prominent Jews, Muslim leaders, and politicians. It lets those featured speak for themselves on the subject of whether a planned Muslim building should be erected near the 9/11 site, and the result is much food for thought on both sides of the issue. A real service to the readers.”

Lipowsky won second place in that category for “DeVries case spurs state to target driving while distracted.” He also won first place for a feature, “Hello, old friend: Death march survivors reunite after 65 years.” The judges comment was that the article “flowed seamlessly between the experiences of the men during the Holocaust, and today.”

Miryam Wahrman, the newspaper’s science correspondent, placed first in the health, science, and technology category for “Got ____? Aphasia: At a loss for words.” The judges called it an “interesting and informative article on a health problem that most of the general public never even heard of. Wahrman does a good job of explaining what it is, how it affect individuals, and the treatment available at a local center.”

Another first was won by Bram Boroson, in both the daily and weekly categories, for his review, “A Novelist’s Search for (Divine) Life in the Universe,” of a book by Herman Wouk called “The Language God Talks.” The judges called it a “thoughtful and insightful review that gives the reader a number of ideas to ponder.” Boroson, an assistant physics professor at Clayton State University in Morrow, Ga., is performing research at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Mass. He is the son of Rebecca Boroson and her husband, Warren, a contributing editor at the Standard.

Warren Boroson took second place in the enterprise/series/investigative category for his three-part series on ant-Semitism, “The disease that won’t go away.”

A columnist as well for, Boroson took two other second-place awards, one in the online essay category for “What it’s really like to be retired” and one in the online public service category for “Frank financial advice for young people.”

Rebecca Boroson placed second for her editorial “Boorish blogging and a merited medal.”

Sara Lee Kessler of Englewood and her NJN Public Television team took a first place award in the Best Media Affiliated Website category for NJN’s “Decoding Autism” website. The judges called it “an attractive and easy-to-navigate site addressing a serious topic. The combination of information (including Fast Facts list) videos, and resources helps demystify the subject of autism for the average person.”

The “Decoding Autism” documentary, which is now airing on PBS television stations across the nation, debuted on NJN on Sept. 27, 2010. The Standard’s Abigail Klein Leichman previewed it in this newspaper on Sept. 24.

The Standard’s publisher, James Janoff, said he was delighted at the paper’s strong showing. “It demonstrates,” he said, “the Standard’s commitment to editorial excellence and to covering the community.”

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