Amity Senior Zizi Yu has been awarded a 4-year scholarship by the Milton Fisher Scholarship for Innovation and Creativity. Applicants are selected who show the most promise as innovative, creative problem solvers on the basis of their projects described in their essays and letters of recommendation, and other information that may be included in their appication.
The guidlines of the American Academy of Pediatrics over the last decade emphasize avoiding food allergens in early childhood to avoid irritating young children's sensitive digestive tracts. But Zizi suspected these guidelines were wrong and that the opposite was true: that "lack of exposure to allergens and pathogens in the first few years of life could result in under-activization of the immune system and a subsequent lack of tolerance even for ordinary, innocuous substances." Zizi tested her theory by surveying the diet and allergy history reported by parents of 258 children between the ages of 14 and 18. She hopes her research will help prompt pediatricians to re-evaluate their guidelines. She plans to study biology or environmental engineering at Yale University.