Junior Nobel Prize won Indian American Student

Junior Nobel Prize won Indian American Student

Shivani Sud, a 17-year-old Indian American student, has won the $100,000 Intel Science Talent Search scholarship, the US’s most coveted school prize that is commonly referred to as the “Junior Nobel”.

The girl from Durham, North Carolina, walked away with the top honours for her research on colon cancer. She developed a 50-gene model to identify patients at higher risk for tumour recurrence and propose potentially effective drugs for treatment.

The bioinformatics and genomics project put her in the lead in a gruelling competition in which more than 1,600 high school students from across the US participated. Besides Sud, seven other Indian American children made it to the final 40.

Sud, who received the top prize at Intel’s awards banquet in Washington, disclosed that her research pursuit was in part motivated by personal experience when she was just a six-year-old.

One of my immediate family members had a benign brain tumour. It left a big emotional imprint on me,” she said. Her model uses gene expression profiles to link multiple genetic events characterising various types of tumours as opposed to the standard method that relies on visual information, including size, degree of metastasis and microscopic structure.