GHS senior honored with first ever Greenwich Makes History award for ebola test
Hallisey was honored for her work developing a lost-cost Ebola test that does not require refrigeration and costs a fraction of the $1,000 tests now in use.
“Greenwich is full of people that are making history today and she’s one of them,” said Debra Mecky, executive director of the Greenwich Historical Society. “She’s the future.”
Hallisey was the grand prize winner at the 2015 Google Science Fair for her Ebola work. She is the first and only Greenwich High student to reach the global finals of the Google competition, which is open to all students ages 13 to 18.
“I’ve really always been interested in health care and global citizenry,” said Hallisey. “ I’m just trying to do my best to help.”
Hallisey began the research for her test in Greenwich High’s Honors Science Research Program. In January 2016, she appeared on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” to discuss her Ebola test and her Google Science Fair win.
“I began looking at how can we limit the spread of Ebola because the problem I saw is how quickly it was spreading,” Hallisey told Colbert. The drama and the stigma associated with Ebola attracted her, she added in an interview this week.
Impressed, Colbert said, "I don’t know whether to be inspired or intimidated by you right now."
Currently, Hallisey is working on a scientific paper about her Ebola test. She said she hopes to be able to apply the same technology to tests for the Zika virus and Lyme disease.
Hallisey was recognized by the Greenwich Historical Society Wednesday after a lecture by veteran CBS “60 Minutes” correspondent Lesley Stahl. Hallisey’s name will be the first on a Greenwich Makes History plaque which will be installed at the Greenwich Historical Society.
“I’m really honored,” said Hallisey. “I grew up in Greenwich, I go to school in Greenwich; it’s really cool to be honored by my home town.”
Jessica Guff , co-chair of the event, “An Evening with Lesley Stahl,” announced Hallisey’s award and said, “She answered a call that no one else was able to do.”