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Spotlight on Youth: IRHS SMART Team

Group photo of SMART Team members with Mayor Hiremath and Councilmember Snider

Ironwood Ridge High School SMART Team members:
Tiffany Pham, Bennett Adamson, Bianca Reilly, Kiersten Patterson, Savanah Fraijo, Martin Inostroza, Jason Kronenfeld, Joe Montoya and Ryan Chavez

February 18, 2015

SMART stands for Students Modeling A Research Topic, and what they’re accomplishing is impressive.

Each year, the team works with local researchers to develop a 3-D printed model of a protein of interest. This year’s group partnered with the laboratory of Dr. James Hazzard at the University of Arizona Chemistry and Biochemistry Department. They are working to develop a computer-generated model of streptavidin (a bacterial protein) which is used in biotechnology. This protein modeling team does literature research and laboratory research, and they have completed experiments at the U of A with Dr. Hazzard’s university students.  

This year, the team is applying their research toward finding ways to demonstrate a proposed functional mechanism that makes the bacterial protein streptavidin bind to vitamin B7. This would allow streptavidin to be useful in many biotechnology research techniques.

This year's SMART Team qualified to present their 3D printed model and poster at the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Conference in Boston.

What an exceptional group of young people, who are engaging in one of Oro Valley’s core industries: bioscience.

Their teacher is Liane Futch.