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FHS Senior Wins Second Place in National Junior Science Symposium

Freehold High School’s Lynelle Oygenblik won second place in the Biomedical Science category at the National Junior Science and Humanities Symposium in New Mexico. The symposium featured students from all 50 states, in addition to Guam, Puerto Rico, and European countries where the Department of Defense has branches.

The senior won her spot at the national competition after winning first place for her poster on the “Effect of Hyperglycaemic Induction and Insulin Supplements on the Concentration of VEGF-C in Danio rerio” at the recent regional competition. Lynelle presented her study at the national competition and had to answer the judges’ challenging questions. The four judges were all experts in the area of study.

Lynelle’s research investigated if the characteristics of Type 2 Diabetes leads to a greater likelihood of lymphangiogenic cancers indicated by vascular endothelial growth factor C concentration. Lynelle conducted her research within the walls of her high school as a part of the Medical Sciences Magnet Program. Lynelle’s study ended up being significant after statistical analysis found that Type 2 Diabetic individuals were more likely to have lymphangiogenic cancer progression.

Lynelle’s research and presentation to the judges resulted in her winning second place in the Biomedical Science category. This is the first time a Freehold High School student has placed at nationals.

“I was so shocked and honored to place since every individual at the competition had phenomenal research - it was extremely unexpected,” Lynelle said of her win.

In addition to the competition portion, symposium participants were also treated to talks by guest speakers and researchers and were provided tours of the University of New Mexico Hospital. One of the highlights for Lynelle was a chance to able to meet and make friends with so many students from around the world who share her interest in STEM topics.  

For over 30 years, the Medical Sciences Magnet Program at Freehold High School has offered students a rigorous program of mathematics and science within a comprehensive high school setting.  The program of study is unique with freshmen beginning their studies in AP Biology and Honors Algebra II and concluding their senior year with Biochemistry and Multivariable Calculus. Our high achieving and self-motivated students are thoroughly prepared for postsecondary studies in the sciences. During their junior year, students design and conduct independent research projects, including statistical analyses, that culminate in a formal research paper presented to the school and community.  Every year, Medical Science students are selected to present these projects at prestigious symposiums such as the New Jersey Juniors Science & Humanities Symposium at Rutgers, the South Jersey Junior Science Symposium at Ocean County College, the Delaware Valley Science Fair and others. 

Seniors participate in a unique externship at CentraState Medical Center. Twice a month, they attend a lecture series and then shadow physicians and health care providers throughout the facility. In addition to this experience, many students also participate in summer internships at institutions such as the NIH, Sloan Kettering, University of Pennsylvania Research Program, Rutgers Cancer Institute. 

Medical Sciences Magnet Program students are regularly admitted to prestigious colleges and universities such as Princeton, Yale, Stanford, Columbia, MIT, Cornell, University of Pennsylvania, Dartmouth University, University of Chicago, Rutgers University Honors Program, and many others. 

Often our students are accepted into undergraduate/medical combined programs at institutions such as Northwestern University's HPME, Washington University of St. Louis, Drexel University BA/MD, George Washington BA/MD, Penn State University BA/MD, TCNJ's BA/MD, and others. After graduation, students have gone on to become physicians, surgeons, pharmacists, veterinarians, physician assistants, and physical therapists. Others have chosen industry or research careers in biomedical engineering or technology.

 Lynelle Oygenblik at the National Junior Science and Humanities Symposium