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From the Editor, May 2014

Dear Reader,

I am happy to present our latest volume of Young Scientist, a peer-reviewed research journal authored by high school students. Each year offers an exciting new step forward as Young Scientist continues to spotlight the hard work of these student authors, with our audience and author representation ever expanding. This year, for the first time in Young Scientist history, we have expanded our submission pool beyond the boundaries of Vanderbilt University campus, and the results were exciting!

Over the past few years, Young Scientist has spread to over 45 laboratories representing 22 distinct departments on the Vanderbilt. Based on the strong support of our research community to serve as reviewers for the journal, Young Scientist was able to expand outside of the Vanderbilt community and solicit paper submissions from institutions that have top notch high school researchers. Young Scientist recognizes and appreciates all of these institutes and the participating labs for being bold leaders in outreach who realize that fostering these students’ curiosity and drive creates future national (or international) leaders in these fields.

In this volume, you will find topics that include examining alternative materials like graphene and MoS2 for electronic substrates, creating scaffolds to induce pluripotent stem cell differentiation, improving methods for drug development, and understanding the development of phonemic awareness skills over the school-aged years. As these articles are reviewed by experts in the field, I want to extend my gratitude to the reviewers who have volunteered their time to ensure the utmost quality of these submissions. To the principal investigators who mentored these students during their research experience and to the research institutes listed on the back cover: I thank you for your support and guidance. You and the mentors in your laboratory play a key role in fostering an enthusiasm for research in these young student authors for years to come.

This volume would not be possible without our patrons, listed below, who have continued to support endeavors such as Young Scientist to promote scientific discovery and communication at all levels. And, as always, I would like to thank the editorial board, Drs. Chris Vanags and Jens Meiler, who have once again helped to give these gifted students an opportunity to be recognized for their talent and dedication.

I hope you enjoy this latest volume of Young Scientist. To learn more about the journal, submit an article for future consideration, or view any supporting information, please peruse the site.

Mary E. Loveless, Ph.D.