Locust Valley High School Junior Tazim Merchant has co-authored two abstracts with researchers at St. Francis Hospital. One of these abstracts has been selected for presentation at the Society for Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance Scientific Sessions in New Orleans. “Myocardial Contractility Indices Based on Strain Imaging” is based research conducted under the mentorship of Dr. Nathaniel Reichek.

Dr. Reichek is the Director of Research at St. Francis Hospital and Professor of Medicine and Biomedical Engineering at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. Tazim earned a spot working in the MRI Suite as an intern for the hospital’s  DeMatteis Center for Cardiac Research and Education. 
Dr. Reichek and his team invited Tazim to help present the abstract in New Orleans Jan. 16-19, 2014. Tazim joined the St. Francis research group as part of the Science Research Program at LVHS. She recently presented the LVCSD Board of Education with a summary of her work in the hospital’s lab which included analyzing MRI films of patient hearts and computing the stress and strain on heart walls using specialized software.

“It was interesting to visit the lab and watch Tazim work with the doctors and technicians in an extremely high tech environment,” said Chris Hoppner, LVHS Science Research Coordinator. “The work is cutting edge and will go a long way to help improve the evaluation and overall treatment of heart patients.” Tazim’s research will continue and will be the basis of a paper she plans to submit to numerous competitions over the next two years.

“It is not only an honor that Tazim was able to co-author the abstract with these highly regarded medical professionals, but it is a testament to her incredible talent and dedication to research,” Mr. Hoppner said.  “It is extremely unusual for a student to have this opportunity and even more rare to excel in such an advanced research environment.”