Meet Maria Protogerou,
Maria Protogerou is a rising senior at Mountainside High School in Beaverton, Oregon and is heavily involved in her school community. She is currently a candidate for the International Baccalaureate diploma and is on track for completing it at the end of her senior year. As part of her IB portfolio, Maria helped lead and organize an initiative presentation regarding climate change and its detrimental effects on the planet, alongside Dr. Philip Mote at Oregon State University and Larissa Gordon from SOLVE (Stop Oregon Litter and Vandalism). Next year at Mountainside, Maria will serve as a Debate Captain for the Speech and Debate club and has earned a District Champion title for the 2020-2021 season in Parliamentary Debate along with her debate partner. She also participates in National Honor Society, French Honor Society, Key Club, and has been a part of both the Mountainside Cross Country and Track teams.
Outside of school, Maria has been playing the piano since 2015 and is gathering her musical performance portfolio in hopes of pursuing her studies in classical piano in the coming years. She wishes to continue playing the piano at a high level in college while also pursuing a degree in a STEM field, particularly with a focus on biology. In her free time, she also enjoys running, collecting records, going out with friends, and spending time with her family and two cats.
At Institute for Systems Biology, collaborating with her partner Pranati along with mentor Dr. Vivek Srinivas, Maria had the opportunity to work on a project regarding bacterial response to antibiotic treatments. In particular, the team used machine learning algorithms PRIME and DRonA to analyze transcriptome data in bacteria to observe the relationship between bacterial growth and death due to antibiotic drug treatment (inhibition in enzymatic activity). The aim of the project was to draw conclusions regarding the changes in differential gene expression under varying conditions to ultimately determine whether bacterial growth could be inhibited while assuring that the drug treatments were also effective in eliminating the bacteria.