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Miah Christina Margiano

Saint Anthony’s High School
Syosset, New York

About Miah Christina Margiano

Miah studied the childhood cancer neuroblastoma (NB), and identified a genetic sequence that was expressed in higher amounts among patients with low-risk NB. The long non-coding RNA genetic sequence she found may help regulate tumor growth pathways and be associated with increased survival in patients with low-risk NB.

Potential Influence of LncRNAs in Tumor Regression: An Analysis of Prognostic LncRNAs in Neuroblastoma

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Miah Christina Margiano, 18, of Syosset, is a survivor of childhood leukemia who studied neuroblastoma (NB) for her Regeneron Science Talent Search cellular and molecular biology project. Miah hopes to improve therapies for people with NB, the deadliest and most common cancer diagnosed in children under five. NB develops from immature nerve cells and exists in both high-risk and low-risk forms, with a survival rate of just 50% in high-risk neuroblastoma. In low-risk NB, the cancerous tumor tends to respond well to therapy and may disappear with little medical intervention, so it would be useful to identify genetic differences between high-risk and low-risk NB. Miah used computational analysis to identify a genetic sequence for a long non-coding RNA that was expressed in higher amounts among low-risk patients. This may help regulate tumor growth pathways and be associated with increased survival. Her findings present a promising target for future research.

At Saint Anthony’s High School in Melville, Miah started a science research fair to help fellow students sharpen their communication skills. Miah also founded the nonprofit Miah’s Hope to raise awareness about pediatric cancer. She is the daughter of Michelle Ricaurte.

Moved by the financial struggles her own family faced during her childhood leukemia, Miah has started a nonprofit to address the economic challenges childhood cancer often presents to minority families.

FUN FACTS: Miah loves cooking for her family and creating healthy recipes like her baked cauliflower buffalo wings. She hopes one day to write a cookbook.