Felix Angelov Wins First Place at International Science and Engineering Fair

By Mara Shapiro

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Senior Feliz Angelov pictured with his presentation.

Senior Felix Angelov  won first place in microbiology as well as best in his category at the International Science and Engineering Fair in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Friday, May 18.

Approximately 1500 students from all over the world were at the fair. Angelov’s project was  Investigating the Compatibility of Autoinducers: One Molecule to Target Multiple Signal Transduction Pathways. 1600 projects were featured.

“Basically I came up with a way to treat bacterial infections without killing the bacteria (in order to not facilitate the development of resistance). I did this by adding molecules which block the signal transduction pathway responsible for the regulation and expression of genes that code for toxin production in cholera and salmonella,” Angelov said.

Angelov won best in his category at both the State and Regional fairs. He is still in shock over his win.

“I still cannot believe I won. It was such a surprise to me! I was actually sitting there playing Draw Something with the Niles North kids that I came with when they called my name. I was in shock and it all seemed too good to be true!” Angelov says.

SIRS teacher Julieann Villa thinks that Felix’s dedication is remarkable and should be admired.

“I think it’s really exciting for him. He devoted 3 years to science research… he had to go through the State and Regional competitions.. it’s really exciting that he’s had so much success,” Villa said.

According to Villa, Angelov spent his summer at Northwestern University taking organic chemistry classes in order to better his project. She also said that many students who participated in the fair had assistance from teachers and mentors from universities like the University of Chicago, while Angelov worked alone on his project.

“It was all him, all driven by him, all done by him. He stayed with it for 3 years of research and 2 years working on the project. And he didn’t have a mentor,” Villa added.

Angelov accredits his research teachers and peers as part of his success.

“I think that my project was successful because it is a new way of treating a problem that has been around for a long time. Also, the fact that I did my own research and didn’t work with major companies like many other kids did made my project stand out more, in my opinion, and made the judges appreciate what I did much more simply because it was my idea and my work that was being presented. Also, all of the support from my research teachers: Mrs. Gleicher, Ms. Villa, Mrs. Czupryna, Mrs. Donnelly, Mrs. Arcus, and all my peers made my project possible and successful,” Angelov says.

Villa also said that students should feel inspired and that the equipment in the SIRS room also assisted Angelov in his amazing opportunity.