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Natalie Ng of Monta Vista High: Developed a prediction model for long term breast cancer survival.
Vishnu Shankar, in class at Monta Vista High in Cupertino, Calif., Jan. 22, 2014. (Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group)
Angela Kong of Lynbrook High: Determined the role of a specific protein in the spread of breast cancer.
Angela, 17, is also at the forefront of breast cancer research. One of her relatives had breast cancer, which sparked her interest in combating the disease. She joined Shang Cai, a post doctoral student at the Stanford Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, in furthering the research team's breast cancer project.
Intel Science Talent Search finalists
Cai said he became impressed Fendi Cell Phone Case with Angela's work after her first month with the team.
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Natalie Ng, in class at Monta Vista High in Cupertino, Calif., Jan. 22, 2014,. (Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group)
Intel Science Talent Search
The first place winner will receive $100,000 from the Intel Foundation. In addition, the foundation Fendi Hobo Shoulder Bag
Five finalists, all seniors, are from the South Bay. The other four are Vishnu Shankar of Monta Vista High, Angela Kong of Lynbrook High in San Jose, Charles Liu of Gunn High in Palo Alto and Sreyas Misra of The Harker School in San Jose.
Monta Vista senior Vishnu, 17, has been working in a CalTech lab where he helped calculate the structure of a protein that could help scientists design drugs to target cardiovascular disease and allergies.
Among the finalists, 11, or more than one quarter, are from California, the most of any state. Among the 300 semifinalists, 48 came from California. This year the contest attracted nearly 1,800 entries.
Three finalists are from San Ramon: Kathy Camenzind and Esha Maiti, both from California High School, and Emily Pang from Dougherty Valley High.
Liu of Gunn High: Found a genetic relationship between lupus and systemic sclerosis, a connective tissue disease, that may lead to new therapies.
"She's an excellent student, and one of the best I've ever mentored," Cai said. "I really thank her for her efforts in this project."
"The person on the other line must have thought I was crazy because I couldn't get a coherent word out," she said. "I could only mouth the words 'thank you' over and over."
"Now they can all be targeted by the chemotherapy," Cai said. "This has the potential to prevent the cancer from coming back."
the Science Talent Search is one of the oldest national science research contests.
When Natalie Ng received the call late Tuesday that she had been selected as a finalist for the Intel Science Talent Search 2014, she couldn't contain her excitement.
"I realized I couldn't find a cure for breast cancer, but I could target a specific part of the cells that relate to breast cancer," Angela said. "That was the stem cells."
Cancer stem cells can avoid death at the hands of chemotherapy by becoming inactive and entering a dormant stage, only to reactivate some time down the line. Angela said currently there is not enough research into how or why these stem cells are able to remain in these stages of inactivity.
Angela said she isn't concerned with her placement in the competition or the money, but instead can't wait to receive critiques and advice from the judges and her peers on where to take her research next and how she can further apply it.
He said her work was essential to wrapping up the project and that it is promising for the future study of utilizing this gene to tackle cancer relapse.
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"This honor is a testament to how good my mentors have been in terms of tailoring my ideas and making them more lucid for the paper," Vishnu said. "This opportunity provides a venue for my idea and other people's ideas to be exposed to the public so that they can see what the future of science will be."
will award $530,000 in runner up prizes.
She was one of eight Bay Area students on Wednesday who were named finalists in the Intel search, also known as the nation's "junior Nobel Prize." They are among 40 young researchers selected as finalists in the contest, which seeks out the nation's most promising young scientists.
Vishnu Shankar of Monta Vista: Calculated the 3 D structure of a molecule involved in cardiovascular disease.
When she joined Cai in the lab, his team had identified a gene responsible for making cancer stem cells dormant, but the gene's mechanism was still unclear. Angela helped the team decode that mechanism.
"I'm looking forward to getting to meet these super talented and smart people who are scientific researchers from across the nation," she said. "Being in that environment where everyone is interested in the same science ideas I'm really looking forward to that."
Natalie, 17, a senior at Monta Vista High in Cupertino, worked for more than a year developing a diagnostic tool to help doctors identify breast cancer patients who are at a high risk of developing metastasis the spreading of cancer from one organ to another.
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