• May 26, 2017
    Senior publishes scholarly article

    Aditi Chattopadhyay Upper St. Clair High School senior Aditi Chattopadhyay can add published author to her resume of accomplishments. Her paper titled, “Demonstration Study: A Protocol to Combine Online Tools and Databases for Identifying Potentially Repurposable Drugs,” was published on MDPI.com, a platform for peer-reviewed, scientific open-access journals.

    The paper was written as a follow up to her Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science project, completed during her junior year. Her research mentor taught her that the most important part of science is communicating your work.

    “This project is very simply a protocol to identify pre-existing FDA-approved drugs that can be repurposed to treat other diseases, especially those that are not currently treatable. So, the real-life implications of the research were a motivating factor for me to both pursue this project and write a paper on it,” Aditi said. “Additionally, since this project allows other scientists and even students to predict potential repurposable drugs using the protocol we created, it was important to write and publish this paper to disseminate the knowledge and results for more extensive use.”

    One of the key challenges for Aditi was conforming to the format and style of scholarly research papers.

    “Scientific papers have their own specific format you have to follow. For example, there is usually an abstract, introduction, methods and discussion with certain information and explanations going into each section,” she said. “Since I had little experience writing a research paper before, figuring this out was a bit of a challenge.”

    Another aspect of this type of published scientific writing is the peer-review process, which can be both arduous and time-consuming.

    “Once I sent out the first draft to the journal, different academics from all over the world reviewed the draft and sent us comments on what they thought was lacking or needed to be fixed in the paper,” she added. “Addressing those comments by explaining our ideas and the methodology of the research in a simple, concise way was pretty challenging.”

    In total, the process from initial submission to publication took approximately six months.

    “I expected the process to take much longer, so I'm pretty grateful that our paper was able to be published pretty quickly within six months!” Aditi said.

    Aditi will attend Carnegie Mellon University, School of Computer Science this fall.

    “I'm interested in studying computer science and artificial intelligence,” she said. “I hope to eventually merge my interests in biology and applied math/computer science to apply computational methods to medicine in the future.”