South Huntington

School District

Hannah Saks' DNA Sequencing Research

Submitted for Publishing

Over the summer, Hannah Saks was accepted into the Polymer Engineering program at Stony Brook.

Walt Whitman High School Junior Hannah Saks helped produce research on DNA sequencing at her internship with SUNY Stony Brook.

For the past three years, Saks has taken part in Whitman’s Science Research program, where she has worked on countless topics like DNA barcoding, animal biodiversity, and how virtual learning affects cognitive functioning.

Over the summer, she was accepted into the Polymer Engineering program at Stony Brook.

“It was an amazing program,” Saks said. “It opened up so many doors for me; it showed me a lot.”

She got the opportunity to meet many researchers and other students from around the world, giving her the feel of a “real life college setting.” She aided professors on their projects, and because Stony Brook is nearby, she was able to work in-person at the labs.

The research she completed this summer included finding a way to observe long sequences of DNA. To do this, the use of the enzyme transposase allows for long sequences of DNA to be cut and studied. This is made possible with PDMS surfaces, which contain a jelly-like plastic with grooves that allow for DNA to be suspended.

After working with Stony Brook professor Dr. Jonathan Sokolov, the research was presented at the Materials Research Society symposium this past Fall, and has now been submitted for publishing.

Saks intends to continue down this path for her future education, where she’d like to major in biology and continue with her passion for research.



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