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Cole Maxwell & Maggie Scott

Project Summary
Melanoma is one of the deadliest cancers in the world, killing over 10,000 Americans every year. However, in melanoma's earliest stages, nearly all patients can be successfully treated. Because of this discrepancy, the purpose of this study was to look at possible environmental factors that induce melanoma metastasis in its most crucial, early stages. This study identified Bartonella, a tick-borne bacteria most known for causing cat-scratch disease, as a possible promoter of melanoma metastasis. Bartonella is most common in the Pacific Northwest, a region disproportionately affected by melanoma. Additionally, through a process called angiogenesis, Bartonella up-regulates the formation of blood and lymph vessels. This study hypothesized that vessels formed by Bartonella infection can carry essential nutrients and oxygen to cancerous tumors, accelerating the speed at which malignancies spread throughout the body, making melanoma more deadly. As a secondary focus, this study also investigated the role of Borrelia, another tick-borne bacteria that causes Lyme disease, because of the high frequency of Bartonella and Borrelia co-infections. Using immunohistochemistry staining and confocal microscopy, the presence of these bacteria were examined and discovered in melanoma samples for the first time. Additionally, Bartonella was found to cluster around lymphatic vessels, which is necessary for the induction of angiogenesis. This study suggests that the relationship between Bartonella and vasculature in melanoma should be further pursued to determine what function tick-borne bacteria have in influencing melanoma metastasis. As this becomes clear, better treatments and more accurate prognoses can be developed for melanoma and cancer patients.


 Cole Maxwell

I am a junior, and this my second year on the Advanced Science Research team. Last year, I conducted research on the use of cannabinoids in treating AIDS in the brain and designed computer simulations to the efficiency of potential drug candidates. Some of my interests include in computer science and biomedical engineering, so I hope to pursue a career that will allow me to combine these areas. Outside of science research, I’m very involved with Breck’s Academic Worldquest team and have been a captain for the last two years. I am also on the varsity tennis and quiz bowl teams and am a member of student council. When I am not at school or in the lab, I spend a lot of time reading, watching movies and TV, and spending time with my dog, Daisy.

   Maggie Scott

       By the time you are reading this, I will have graduated, probably one year ago, but it could be more. Let me just say I am flattered you have chosen my page to read or to model your own bio off of (I modeled mine off of Elena Berman). 

       I am a senior who only did one year of science research. I love learning about biological concepts, although Biology was not my favorite class. Gene editing and CRISPR are my favorite biological concepts. Some of my other interests and hobbies are knitting badly, drawing/painting dogs, bingeing Netflix, reading National Geographic, the TIME magazine, the Atlantic, movie reviews, the first half of Atlas Shrugged, bad literature, good literature, food labels, and text messages, average guitar playing, above average ukulele playing. When I am not doing any of the above (or sleeping), I am leading BATO BATO!, running in Cross Country or Track, playing chess in Chess Club, Book Club, and nothing else worth mentioning.

"Not only has Advanced Science Research provided me an outlet for my curiosity and love for science, but it also has taught me skills that will help me beyond the classroom. Over the past two years, I have learned how to effectively communicate my project to people of all backgrounds and have become a better problem-solver, creative thinker, and collaborator. No matter what the career I pursue, I know that I will take my experiences from Advanced Science Research with me wherever I go."
"Like much of life, you get about as much out of Advanced Science Research that you put into it. Coming into the summer with a good attitude, strong work ethic and a willingness to work well with your partner will turn a good science research experience into a great one. Advanced Science Research let me explore subjects that I was interested in and form deep friendships with like-minded and diverse people. I enjoyed and learned so much from my experiences in the lab, in the classroom, and in the competitions, and I wouldn’t trade them for anything. Well probably 1 million dollars, but not a penny less."
Honors & Awards

Cole Maxwell ('18) & Maggie Scott ('17) worked with Dr. Marna Ericson in the Dermatology Department of the University of Minnesota. Maggie will attend Rhodes College. Cole is a junior and looks forward to continuing his research experience next year. 

State Science and Engineering Fair

  • Beckman Coulter Science Award for 3rd place High School Project
  • Minnesota Environmental Health Association 3rd place High School Project
  • Minnesota State Science and Engineering Fair participants

Twin Cities Regional Science Fair

  • I-SWEEEP finalist, awarded opportunity to attend the International Sustainable World Engineering, Energy & Environment Project Olympiad in Texas in May
  • Graduate Women in Science Project Award
  • Top ribbon signifying qualification to the Minnesota State Science Fair Competition in March
  • Research Paper Competition Finalist signifying qualification to the North Central Tri-State Junior Science & Humanities Symposium in March

MaxwellScott InDesign Final.indd
Cole Maxwell,
May 11, 2017, 12:55 PM