OHS senior second published scientific research | Herald Community Newspapers

By Tom Carrozza

Oceanside High School senior Miranda Leibstein achieved a rare feat when she published her research on cow feeding for the second time.

Leibstein translated his love of riding and caring for horses to another backyard animal through his work with the prestigious University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine.

Leibstein thanked Heather Hall, a college research professor in OHS, for preparing her for her recent successes with her research papers.

“The way she teaches you to write in ninth and tenth grades helped a lot,” Leibstein said. “I can go to the papers and see my wording.”

His first research article was published last year in PLOS One, an open access, peer-reviewed scientific journal published by the Public Library of Science since 2006, and his second research article was published March 4 on sciencedirect .com, a website that provides access to a large bibliographic database of scientific and medical publications.

Hall said she never had a pupil who was released twice while still in high school. “Although the public often focuses on things like winning awards, science and research are what excites me. “

Leibstein, an avid horseback rider from a young age, said she never thought she would end up working on cow research. She added that she had long wanted to do equine metabolic research due to the time she spent caring for her horse, Caden, who developed a life-threatening disease in his hoof called laminitis in 2015.

Early detection helped bring the horse back to health, but it also led Leibstein to take a closer look at Caden’s diet. A few years later, in 2019, this led her to contact an equine researcher at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine, who connected Leibstein with Dr. Dipti Pitta, assistant professor of ruminant nutrition. at school.

“She was flexible because opportunities can be hard to find,” Hall said. Leibstein needed the credits for his college research class and made the transition to cattle studies to satisfy that.

Through microbial research in the intestines of dairy cows, Miranda and researchers at the university’s veterinary school hope to create a cheaper, but more effective diet that can meet the high demand for dairy and milk production. milk.

In the summer of 2019, Leibstein spent eight weeks working on two projects on dairy farms at the University of Pennsylvania for his academic research course at OHS. The first project, which culminated in the publication of Leibstein’s first research paper, tracked changes in the fecal bacteria of Holstein dairy calves as they transitioned to a solid diet as they grew. The second project compared fecal bacterial communities in diarrheal and non-diarrheal dairy calves, but was halted by the pandemic.

Despite the obstacle, the lab was able to freeze the samples and then send the data for Leibstein and the other researchers to analyze last summer. “So I didn’t have to scramble and look for another place,” Leibstein said. “All of my research friends must have looked for other labs in the midst of a pandemic.”

For Leibstein, it was a challenge to juggle the responsibilities of courses at OHS and research in Pennsylvania, but luckily for her, she had support. Her parents rented a house in Kennett Square, Pa., A five-minute drive from the New Bolton Center at the School of Veterinary Medicine, where she worked. In the summer, she would go there on Sunday evenings, work until Friday afternoon, then return to Northport where she could ride. “I haven’t seen my friends all summer,” Leibstein said. “But I got to work at probably the best veterinary school in America.”

Leibstein has a third research paper in the works and will be studying in the fall at the school of his dreams, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. There, Leibstein will have the opportunity to continue the work she has done with large animal nutrition and sport horse medicine.

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