Department Intern, Ien Li, a Finalist in Intel Science Talent Search

February 2, 2015 - Ien Li, a senior at Jericho High School and an intern in the department’s Center for Understanding Biology using Imaging Technology (CUBIT), is one of 40 finalists nation-wide in this year’s Intel Science Talent Search. Ms. Li was a 2014 Simons Fellow who was mentored by CUBIT Director, Christine DeLorenzo, PhD on a project titled Statistical Modeling of Major Depression: Bridging the Gap between Brain and Behavior. 

“This was an extremely challenging research project,” Dr. DeLorenzo said, “and it involved many aspects for which Ms. Li had no prior experience – depression severity scoring, factor analysis of depressive symptoms, volume and cortical thickness analysis from MRI data and analysis of the integrity of white matter from Diffusion Tensor Imaging, to name a few. Amazingly, Ms. Li was able to complete the project, develop several significant models relating brain biology to depression clinical presentation, and almost single-handedly produced a manuscript on the study and its results.”

Ms. Li will travel to  Washington, DC with the other finalists for the judging process and meetings with top scientists and national leaders. Winners will be announced at a gala awards ceremony on March 10.

Dr. DeLorenzo described Ms. Li as “one of the most dedicated, driven, intelligent and interested student I have had the pleasure of mentoring, and I have mentored more than 50. She is truly dedicated to help end the suffering of those with depression and their families.” 

View a video of Ien Li and Christine DeLorenzo, PhD