Israeli teenager shares life saving research with Emanuel School students

July 20, 2017 by Michelle Favero
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Israeli teenager, Sarit Sternberg, visited Emanuel School to speak to the Year 11 students about her breakthrough scientific research whilst participating in the Alpha Program for Gifted Students at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Sarit Sternberg with Emanuel students

The gifted high school student shared her study of bacteriophages, a virus that infects and replicates within bacteria, ultimately destroying the infection. In 2016, after many hours of research and testing, Sarit discovered a bacteriophage that kills Anthrax and other antibiotic-resistant bacteria. This finding has far-reaching applications, particularly for the military, with the potential to counter the threat of biological warfare.

Anne Hastings, who was interviewed as part of an SBS special report on Sarit’s findings, said: “When you see people like Sarit and the work she is doing to solve some of the problems of the world, it gives me great hope for the next generation.”

Emanuel student, Sienna Amoils, was inspired by Sarit’s presentation. “I had to remind myself I was listening to a 16-year-old and not a university graduate! Sarit’s drive to make people’s lives better, commitment to the project and ultimate success in finding the phages is inspirational. The key message I got from Sarit’s presentation is that if you have the capacity to do something to change the world, you should do it, regardless of your age or obstacles in your path.”

Aron Jaffe, Year 11, said: “I find it amazing that Sarit was offered this opportunity by the Hebrew University and admire her for taking up the challenge. Being able to develop and work on a project at this professional level whilst still being able to balance school life is an amazing accomplishment.”

Sarit has been accompanying Hebrew University President, Professor Menahem Ben-Sasson on a fundraising and awareness raising visit to Australia, as guests of the Australian Friends of Hebrew University. Following Sarit’s fascinating lecture, Professor Ben-Sasson encouraged Emanuel School students to be an active part of a better future for themselves and the world.

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