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Polygence Scholar2022
Samhitha Thatavarthy's profile

Samhitha Thatavarthy

Holliston High SchoolClass of 2024Ashland, MA


Hello, my name is Samhitha Thatavarthy. I am a high school junior. I am fascinated by all aspects of science and its relation to allergies. My passion is to invent drugs and medical devices to detect and cure life-threatening ailments. I'm a curious learner and am especially intrigued by the nexus of genetics, allergies, and immunology. Inspired by the scientists who invented vaccines for the current pandemic, I am thankful for this opportunity Polygence has connected me with a fantastic mentor and given me a great foundation of understanding research papers, able to author a study on the topic which I love is exciting! I am hoping this mentorship and guidance to be a valuable next step toward my pursuit of science and engineering in college and my future career as a biomedical researcher. Special thanks to my mentor! Samhitha Thatavarthy Holliston High School, Massachusettshigh school junior


  • "Transgenerational occurrence of allergies and modification in genes" with mentor Kelsey (Dec. 17, 2022)

Project Portfolio

Transgenerational occurrence of allergies and modification in genes

Started May 9, 2022

Abstract or project description

Both environmental and genetic factors play a role in allergies. Allergies are influenced by genes and how they control immune cell function. Several studies have examined the occurrence of allergic disease in children and its association with other risk factors, including allergic disease in parents. Specific toxins like CO2 and other health conditions can be related to the diagnosis of allergic rhinitis. The response to food allergies was observed in many studies to conclude that heritability from parents to offspring is one of the leading risk factors for allergic diseases. Several studies have found a significant increase in the prevalence of allergic rhinitis in males than in females. Avoidance of a particular food was associated with an increased risk of developing an allergy to that food. At the molecular level, T cells are found to affect allergy outcomes through their part of the immune response.  Food proteins such as milk, egg, and peanut - common food allergens -  may cause an immune response in allergic individuals. Different therapies include Epicutaneous Immunotherapy (EPIT) and specific infant milk protein formulas. If this formula is taken from infancy, the allergic responses can be prevented/reduced.  As with seasonal allergies, prevention can be mediated by avoiding different pollution environments that may cause additional irritation, temperature control in a given atmosphere/humidity, and therapies of Vitamin C for immunity. With many other seasonal allergy triggers, it is ubiquitous among populations and dependent on the area and season.