Aarav Arora - Society for Science Skip to content

Aarav Arora

Del Norte High School
San Diego, CA

A Mechanistic Basis for the Analysis of SARS-CoV-2 Omicron Variant Severity

Aarav Arora developed a way to analyze mutations in the Omicron variant of COVID-19, which causes severe symptoms, to identify the destabilizing effect of each mutation on the variant’s protein structure. To do so, he created a strategy to use patients’ clinical data and their respective genomes. He believes his work may help researchers develop vaccines that are more resistant to variants.

View Poster

Aarav Arora, 18, of San Diego, developed a different approach to use patient symptom data and a mechanistic basis to analyze the severity of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 for his Regeneron Science Talent Search genomics project. Each time the virus mutates, existing vaccines may become less effective. Aarav used statistical methods to identify which mutated variants cause the most severe symptoms. He then determined the destabilizing effects that each mutation had on a variant’s protein structure. Aarav also determined whether each mutation appeared alone or worked in combination with a second mutation.

He believes his research has identified areas of interest for the development of future targeted vaccines.

2024 Science Talent Search finalist Aarav Arora
Photo courtesy of Aarav Arora

An avid debater, Aarav is president of his speech and debate club at Del Norte High School, where he also created a debate elective class. He also developed a machine-learning approach to the early detection of voice-box cancer, about which he published a paper in European Archives of Laryngology as first author. While he enjoys writing articles, Aarav’s life goal is to help scientists and patients in ways that have a greater impact than journal submissions. His parents are Vimal and Vineeta Arora.

2024 Science Talent Search finalist Aarav Arora
Society for Science/Chris Ayers Photography

Beyond the Project

Aarav works with speech therapists and elementary school teachers to develop voice-modulation strategies that help young students recover from speech impediments.

FUN FACTS: For relaxation, Aarav enjoys giving haircuts. He says cutting hair calms him down and that all his haircuts have been successful, though he concedes that his friends “might disagree.”

Illustration of 2024 STS finalist by Amy Wike
Illustration by Amy Wike