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New alumna competes to perform with the Pops on July 4

Elizabeth Macari, who received her undergraduate degree in biochemistry from Tufts last month, has successfully made it through the first round of the Boston Pops POPSearch competition.

Elizabeth Macari, A05, and dental school researcher Driss Zoukhri © Mark Morelli

She is one of the 18 finalists competing to sing with the Pops on the Esplanade on July 4. Macari and the other hopefuls will audition at Boston’s Symphony Hall on Sunday, June 5, at 6 p.m. at an open seating concert to which the Tufts community is invited. General admission is $10 a ticket. That second round will narrow the field to nine semi-finalists.

The semi-final rounds will take place during Boston Pops concerts on June 16, 17 and 18, all led by Keith Lockhart. The POPSearch finale is June 24, when three finalists will compete for a chance to perform before hundreds of thousands of spectators and television viewers during Boston’s signature Independence Day celebration.

Macari is currently working in the laboratory of Driss Zoukhri, an assistant professor at the School of Dental Medicine. She’s been working with him on a research project that seeks to unravel the mysteries of Sjögren’s syndrome, an autoimmune disease, since last summer, when she was one of 31 undergraduates to participate in the Summer Scholars Program. That program, now in its third year, pairs undergraduates with faculty members from throughout the university to conduct substantive research.

Zoukhri, who also holds appointments in ophthalmology and neuroscience at the School of Medicine, has a $1.78 million National Eye Institute grant to study Sjögren’s, a disorder that causes severe dry eye and dry mouth.