Incoming Freshman Will Soon Have Three Scientific Papers to His Credit

September 1, 2020
Incoming Freshman Will Soon Have Three Scientific Papers to His Credit

Finn Burmeister-Morton

Not many 17-year-old, recent high school graduates can say that they have their names attached to a scientific paper. Finn Burmeister-Morton, incoming freshman to the UTSA Honors College, will soon be able to say he has his name attached to three.

The first paper, entitled “COVID-19 in 7780 pediatric patients: A systematic review” appeared in EClinicalMedicine which is published by the prestigious medical journal THE LANCET. This article, found here, is the largest review to date (n=131 studies) describing the clinical picture of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-2019) in children. The future UTSA computer science major described the role he played in the research article as “data collection, statistics, and critical appraisal of the included studies.”

Dr. Alvaro Moreira, Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Texas Health San Antonio, made this experience possible for Finn. “This entire process started with me reaching out to Dr. Moreira, my mentor, and asking if I would be able to participate in research with him. Luckily, he said yes and that's what kick-started everything.”

The whole thing became a family affair when Dr. Moreira asked Finn if he knew of any other individuals that would be a good fit for this project, and Finn recommended his sister, college junior biology major, Fiona Burmeister.

Finn and Dr. Moreira recently submitted a second article on the new shock-like syndrome [multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, (MIS-C)] which a small percentage of children can develop a few weeks after COVID-19. This article has been accepted and set to publish in two weeks.

Finn is also the first author on a third article, “A machine learning approach to predicting poor outcomes in individuals status post thyroid cancer resection”, which came to fruition via a special Honors College summer scholarship. This scholarship enabled him to do an Honors independent study with Dr. Moreira and Dr. Kevin Chorath (research fellow at Pennsylvania State University).

Dr. Moreira called Finn’s work on the summer project “exceptional” and went on to explain that Finn has “derived an algorithm that can be used in clinical practice. He is currently working on deploying the metric. Not only is the model novel but it is also better than the one that is currently available.”

Finn has known from an early age that he wanted to pursue a career in computer science. “I've been dead set on computer science since 6th grade”. “I was so drawn to computer science because of the potential I saw in it. There's such a wide variety of things you can do with computer science and such a demand in every industry that I knew I would never feel boxed-in or limited with my career.”

Motivated by the work he has done with Moreira, Finn plans to continue authoring articles. After graduation, he plans to pursue a career in government intelligence or data science.