Magnet Students Excel at JSHS 2023

Congratulations to all of our Magnet students who participated in 2023’s Louisiana Junior Science and Humanities Symposium, held this weekend at Louisiana State University Health Shreveport.

Magnet students took home the top three awards at the competition!

Raj Letchuman won 3rd place and a $1000 scholarship,

Andrew Minagar won 2nd place and a $1500 scholarship, and

Sophie Chen won 1st place and a $2000 scholarship

All three will attend the National JSHS which will be held in April.

Lily Bodily placed 1st for her poster presentation.

Letchuman, a senior, used computational tools to identify a drug to inhibit an important interaction involved in the vascularization of cancerous tissue. He successfully found a drug that inhibits this interaction in live kidney cells. He is currently working on validating the molecule in endothelial cells, which form the innermost layer of arteries, capillaries, and veins. He thanks Dr. Christopher Pattillo, Dr. Nabil Rashdan, Ryan Mackay, and the SMART program at LSUHSC for guiding him and providing him the opportunity to conduct such exciting research.


Minagar, a senior, was a participant in the 2023 Research Science Institute at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and researched how transcranial direct current stimulation affects structures that modulate cerebral waste clearance.  Under the direction of Dr. Yogesh Rathi, he used automated approaches to elucidate findings that suggest cortical electrical stimulation may have deleterious effects on waste clearance in various subcortical regions.


Chen, a junior, developed a model to automate the rapid and accurate intraoperative histological analysis of squamous cell carcinoma tumor margins. She thanks her teachers, parents, and mentor, Dr. Levy, for their support throughout her research.


JSHS is jointly sponsored by the United States Departments of Defense, Army, Navy, and Air Force, in cooperation with leading research universities throughout the nation. There are 46 regional symposia affiliated with the program, reaching over 10,000 high school students and teachers.