TJHSST Student Named Recipient of 2019 Virginia Outstanding STEM Award

School News
September 05, 2019

Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJHSST) student Shan Lateef has been named a recipient of Virginia’s 2019 Outstanding STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) Awards.  Lateef was one of two students named a STEM Phenom, and one of only five individuals honored with the Outstanding STEM Awards by Governor Ralph Northam and the Science Museum of Virginia’s Chief Wonder Officer Richard Conti. Lateef’s interest in STEM began long before he became a student at TJHSST. Using the common fruit fly, Lateef and a collaborator conducted a year-long project to understand the implications of ultraviolet radiation on health and the potential of antioxidants to protect against UV-induced damage. His current research focuses on the cellular and molecular mechanism of traumatic brain injury to determine appropriate targets for treatments and interventions. Lateef has successfully published his initial findings in the Journal of Experimental Neuroscience and has presented his work at two scientific conferences. This past spring, Lateef received the American Academy of Neurology’s Neuroscience Research Prize, one of just four high school students in the U.S. awarded the honor. He also won the first place award in Medicine and Health at the National Junior Science and Humanities Symposium. He is currently serving as the President of the Virginia Junior Academy of Science. Lateef was selected as a STEM Phenom because he successfully combines his passion for STEM with his commitment for community service, creating One World, an organization to empower underprivileged youth through STEM education. He has dedicated himself to understanding STEM principles in the classroom and lab, and to finding new ways to solve challenging problems in human health and disease. Contact event liaison Tara Lateef at