She can’t pinpoint the exact moment that she knew she wanted to work on a project to help breast cancer patients but Natalie Ng said the disease was one of the first that she had a personal connection to through someone she knows.
The science project she developed, "Interrogation of Cancer: Development of a Novel Biomarker Discovery Tool to Identify Clinical Signatures from Statistically Deconvoluted Expressions," designed to help in the analysis and prognosis process of the disease was one of 90 regional winners in the Google Science Fair.
“The goal for me? To change the world with my project I suppose,” she says.
The 16-year-old sophomore is among good company, and other cancer-focused innovators at her school. Senior made national headlines when she won a $100,000 scholarship from Siemens Foundation for her nanotechnology attack on cancer cells project.
Zhang has been “very helpful” and is an inspiration, Natalie says.
The Google Science Fair had thousands of entries from students aged 13 to 18 from more than 100 countries. Organizers said topics “ranged from improving recycling using LEGO robots to treating cancer with a substance created by bees to tackling meth abuse.” Natalie's win puts her in the finalists category for 15- to 16-year-olds.
Bioinformatics research is just something Natalie finds fascinating, she says, so putting in 400 to 500 hours on her project wasn’t like work at all.
“Science is definitely my passion.”
Natalie worked with Dr. Neta Zuckerman, of Stanford University and City of Hope Hospital, outside of Los Angeles, to help her develop the biomarker discovery tool.
She’s got a couple of years to go but Natalie has had a dream since she was six years old to attend Stanford.
“The professors are so open and supportive.”
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