Vote for EDSer Finalist in “Inspire a Future Scientist” Contest
A Bowling Green resident and a junior at Notre Dame Academy, she is trying to encourage careers in STEM in her video. STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and math.
The 16-year-old has Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, Hypermobility Type, a connective tissue disorder. She was diagnosed in June, 2013. “My body does not produce collagen the way it’s supposed to,” she said, describing her condition.
With EDS, dislocations are common and may occur spontaneously or with minimal trauma. Degenerative joint disease is common, as is easy bruising. The conditions is due, in part, to faulty or reduced amounts of collagen. “It is my goal to engage in tissue engineering research, specifically that of the mechanics of procollagen folding, the process by which collagen, one of the body’s most important connective tissues, is formed,” she wrote in her contest submission. Seiler has spent two summers in Hillsdale College Molecular Biology summer camp, and wants to study biomedical research. “I’m really excited by tissue engineering and its underlying foundation in molecular biology,” she said. While EDS does affect many aspects of her life, “I’ve tried to not let it define me.” She is interested in tissue engineering to find a way to engineer collagen.
There is no cure for EDS. “There are just measures that can be taken to manage it,” Seiler said.
She has dislocated her hip to the point “I couldn’t put a number on it.”
She also suffers nine-hour migraines and has trouble concentrating, as well as extreme fatigue.
“I pass out when I go from a sitting to standing position.”
“All of these symptoms are directly caused by my EDS,” she stated. This summer her self-determined 4-H project is on EDS. As for the national contest, she said it took her 4 1/2 hours to put the video together. She did a lot of the project in her head and knew what she wanted to do. Selecting a wining video comes down to voting for the videos the finalists created. Supporters can vote once per day through Aug. 1. Click here for the voting link , then vote for Claire’s video, which has the picture of a microscope on it. The winner of this contest will receive a $1,000 scholarship, and trip to Washington D.C. for National Science Day activities in October. As of Monday afternoon, Seiler had 1,163 votes, putting her in third place.
You can vote once everyday. “Science is always evolving and that every single person can be involved in any part aspect of science,” Seiler stated. “There will always be something that excites them, you only have to search in real life.”