I’m a Tulsa Kid: Beau Bingham
Have you ever dreamed of making a lasting impact on the world? Beau Bingham, a Cascia Hall senior, is well on his way to accomplishing that goal. Beau was chosen as a finalist in the oldest and most prestigious science competition for high school science research students, the Regeneron Science Talent Search (STS). The Regeneron STS was described by President George W. Bush as the “Super Bowl of Science.” Students who have entered in this competition have gone on to win Nobel Prizes and many other prestigious science awards.
TK: What is Regeneron Science Talent Search (Regeneron STS)?
Beau: It’s a high school math and science competition that looks at independent projects submitted by student researchers. So what it evaluates is both the research project conducted by the student and the potential of the student to become a scientist. There were over 1700 entries which they narrowed down to 300 semifinalists, then 40 finalists that just competed in Washington D.C.
TK: What inspired you to enter?
Beau: In addition to an innate interest in microbiology that has blossomed over the past three years doing research, I would say it is my desire to impact the world.
TK: What project did you enter into the competition?
Beau: I conducted a natural product drug discovery investigation in which I analyzed extracts of the algae C. crispus and L. digitata as novel, sustainable sources of antimicrobial compounds and, in turn, identified compounds that have potential for use as antimicrobial drugs from those sources. Similar to how aspirin was isolated from a willow bark tree, I’m looking at basically isolating antibiotics from natural sources.
TK: How did you come up with this idea?
Beau: This is a continuation project that I have been continuing over multiple years, sort of starting with me identifying sources of natural products that could contain antimicrobials.
TK: How did it feel to be a finalist and win a trip to Regeneron STS in Washington D.C. to present your research?
Beau: It was a very exciting moment! I had an extensively long dance party around my house! It was such a surreal moment, and it was a very rewarding moment.
TK: Tell me about your experience in D.C.?
Beau: It was an incredibly inspiring experience! I got to meet a lot of notable scientists, tour the National Institute of Health, and go to an awards gala.
TK: What would you say was your favorite part of the trip?
Beau: To interact with the CEO of Regenron, Leonard Schiefer, and CSO, George Yancopoulos.
TK: Who inspires you?
Beau: My high school biology teacher and research mentor, Mrs. Sally Frenska. She is the person who initially gave me the spark that led me into research. She was the one to introduce me to research and has been a present force throughout my research experience. Also, my parents for always pushing me to be my best, which, in return, has made me more self motivated.
TK: What are your goals for the future?
Beau: My goal is to become a Molecular Microbiologist. I am going to Dartmouth College in the fall and there I hope to pursue biology as a major and potentially work with professors who have inspired me such as George O’Toole or Ambrose Cheung, microbiologists. But my overall life goal is to make a lasting positive impact on the world.
TK: Fun Fact about me?
Beau: I whole-heartedly enjoy professional wrestling!