Student Develops a Targeted Cancer Drug Treatment Delivery System

13-year-old Cupertino student is one of 10 finalists in the Discovery 3M Young Scientist Challenge.

Name: Anin Sayana

Age: 13 (he says he’ll be 14 in September.)

School: Incoming freshman at Bellarmine Prepartory School. He went to Challenger School in Sunnyvale in the most recent school year.

Why he’s whizzy: Anin is one of 10 finalists in the Discovery 3M Young Scientist Challenge. He’ll present his project at the national finals in October in Minnesota for a chance to win $25,000. 

His project is uses carbon nanotubes to deliver cancer treatments targeted at chemotherapy-resistant cancer stem cells in relapse patients. (Watch his two-minute video entry with his description on this video, which can be viewed through this link or as an attachment to this article.)

“I was inspired to conduct cancer research when I learned that my grandfather died of lung cancer,” Anin says.

Anin got help with his project from a couple Stanford professors, whom he contacted through email last year asking for their assistance.

His project may sound familiar; , a Monta Vista High School recent graduate developed a targeted delivery system for cancer drug treatments, too. Hers won her a $100,000 scholarship from Siemens Foundation in December.

Favorite subjects in school: Math and science.

Who has had a big influence on you? Besides his parents—his mom is a realtor in Cupertino and his dad is a software engineer—Anin credits one of his middle school teachers.

“Mrs. Nguyen is the reason why I’m definitely interested in science as much as I am today. All the way from 1st grade to 8th grade the teachers at Challenger focused on hands-on applications of science instead of just learning facts,” Anin says.

What’s next? Over the summer Anin will work with a 3M inventor who will help him further develop his project. After that he’s pretty certain he’ll enter another science fair, but he hasn’t come up with another project to work on yet.

Science is definitely in his future for a career though. He says he’s thinking of pursuing a career in neuroscience.

Congratulations Anin and good luck in October!

We're always on the lookout for Whiz Kids of Cupertino. Know one? Send Cupertino Patch editor Anne Ernst an email at anne.ernst@patch.com with the student's name and why they deserve the title.

Robin August 07, 2012 at 05:17 PM
Thank you for sharing the great work our local Whiz Kids are doing. It's such a joy to celebrate their efforts!
Anne Ernst August 07, 2012 at 08:12 PM
And he's only 13! Just imagine what he'll accomplish in the coming years.
Frank Geefay August 08, 2012 at 06:54 AM
This is absolutely amazing. Anin is only 13? I really didn't understand the video very will. It's way over my head. Good luck Anin on October. I wish I had your brains. I'd have won the Nobel Prize by now at almost age 70. CUSD School Board: Is there any way we can steal Mrs. Nguyen from the Sunnyvale Challenger school?


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