Oct. 25, 2022 – Not many high school students can say they’ve worked side by side with scientists, doing Alzheimer’s research in the world-renown Mayo Clinic.
But then, there’s Paxon senior Kristi Biswas.
“So my grandma was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease,” shares Kristi. “And personally, I had to grow up watching her kind of forget who I was. I remember I would FaceTime her sometimes and I would tell her like, ‘It’s me, your granddaughter, Kristi, do you remember me?’”
Fueled by a passion to see change and help others, Kristi began a journey to learn more about neurodegenerative diseases. She began researching topics that would eventually become the basis of several award-winning science fair projects.
Kristi also earned a spot with the Mayo Clinic’s SPARK Research Mentorship Program, which allows local students to participate in mentored research projects. Working with a team of scientists, Kristi conducted Alzheimer’s research, studying genetic variants.
“I kind of want to make sure no one else has to go through that pain of seeing a loved one kind of forget who you are as a person,” she says.
Kristi most recently earned the second-place George D. Yancopoulos Innovator Award at the International Science and Engineering Fair. She says she would one day like to have her own lab focused on Alzheimer’s Disease research.
“There’s so many other people out there who have suffered with more diseases. And that kind of fueled the passion in me that I could probably make a difference in this world if I tried to.”
To learn more about Mayo Clinic’s SPARK Research Mentorship Program, including how to apply, visit: mayo.edu/research/centers-programs/spark-research-mentorship-program/overview