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Student from South Forsyth High wins award for research project
Mudalegundi - photo by For the FCN

SOUTH FORSYTH — A South Forsyth High School junior recently took home the first-place title at a statewide science competition.

Swetha Mudalegundi won the Georgia Junior Science and Humanities Symposium held at the University of Georgia for her project titled “AMPA Receptor Deletion on Oligodendrocytes Confers Protection Against Autoimmune Neuroinflammation.”

She earned $2,000 in military-sponsored scholarship money and an all-expense paid trip to the National Symposium in April in Maryland, where she will have the opportunity to earn more scholarships.

“It is very competitive to be invited to attend this symposium,” said Melissa Smith, science department chair, AP and honors biology teacher and iAchieve instructor at South. “To win first place out of 70 presentations is an outstanding accomplishment.”

Students were invited to the state symposium after a preliminary judging process that involved qualified scientists reviewing their submitted research papers and extended abstracts for original scientific, engineering or mathematics research.

The 70 students were chosen to attend the event either as presenters or observers. The competition culminated with the selection of five presenters to travel to the national symposium.

Two of these students were awarded the opportunity to present their research at the competition, and only one was invited to enter the national poster challenge.