17-year-old wins $100K for biochemistry research on cancer stem cells

December 9, 2011

(credit: Siemens Competition in Math, Science and Technology/Siemens Foundation)

Angela Zhang, a senior at Monta Vista High School in Cupertino, California, won the $100,000 Grand Prize in the Individual category in the 2011 Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology for using nanotechnology to eradicate cancer stem cells.

In her project, “Design of Image-guided, Photo-thermal Controlled Drug Releasing Multifunctional Nanosystem for the Treatment of Cancer Stem Cells,” she developed a nanoparticle that can be delivered to the site of a tumor through the drug salinomycin. Once there it kills the cancer stem cells.

However, Zhang went further and included both gold and iron-oxide components, which allow for non-invasive imaging of the site through MRI and photoacoustics.

Ziyuan Liu and Cassee Cain will share a $100,000 college scholarship for their bioengineering project, Using Kinect for Xbox 360 and Computer Vision to Analyze Human Gait, which uses gaming technology to analyze human walking patterns. Their work could ultimately contribute to prosthesis design.

Siemens Foundation: Siemens Competition in Math, Science and Technology