Whiz Kid of the Week: Angela Zhang
Grade and School: Senior,
Why She’s Whizzy: Angela Zhang was awarded a $100,000 scholarship, the grand prize in the Siemens Competition in Math Science and Technology, which funds and recognizes outstanding achievement for work such as hers in nanotechnology aimed at cancer stem cells.
It’s long-version name is Design of Image-guided, Photo-thermal Controlled Drug Releasing Multifunctional Nanosystem for the Treatment of Cancer Stem Cells.
Angela took top individual honors for research that led to what she called a “Swiss army knife of cancer treatments” a gold-iron oxide nanoparticle that can precisely deliver chemotherapy to cancer tumors but not the surrounding healthy tissue, according to the Wall Street Journal and Mercury News.
"She showed great creativity and initiative in designing a nanoparticle system that can be triggered to release drugs at the site of the tumor while also allowing for non-invasive imaging," said Tejal Desai in a statement. "Her work is an important step in developing new approaches to the therapeutic targeting of tumors via nanotechnology."
Desai is a competition judge and professor at UCSF.
Though it could take 25 years of clinical trials and other work for Angela’s research to help patients, she’s excited with the win and the prospect of what her research can do for cancer patients.
Other recognition Angela has received include the Intel International Science & Engineering Fair (ISEF) Grand Award for medicine and health science in 2011 and 2010. She was a regional finalist in the 2010 Siemens Competition and began her work on this project in 2009 spending an estimated 1,000 hours on research. Becoming a research professor is her goal.