Credit: Tom Devecseri, National Research Council of Canada
Teen Discovers Promising Cystic Fibrosis Treatment
A 16-year-old fromِ the Toronto area usedِ a supercomputer system toِ find a newِ drug combination thatِ shows potential inِ treating theِ genetic disorder cystic fibrosis, andِ won top honors forِ his work.
Marshall Zhang, anِ 11th-grade student atِ Richmond Hill’s Bayview Secondary School, received firstِ place Tuesday (May 10) inِ the 2011 Sanofi-Aventis BioTalent Challenge, a contest inِ which students conduct theirِ ownِ research projects withِ theِ helpِ of mentors.
10 Worst Hereditary Conditions] At hisِ mentor’s lab, Zhang usedِ theِ Canadian SCINET supercomputing network toِ investigate howِ two promising newِ compounds acted againstِ the defective protein responsible forِ the condition.
Zhang then tested his theory in living cells, and the results exceeded his expectations.
They actuallyِ worked togetherِ inِ creating anِ effect thatِ was greater thanِ the sum ofِ itsِ parts, heِ told LiveScience.
Zhang isِ realistic aboutِ the future forِ his discovery; onceِ tested inِ the human body, promising treatments canِ turn outِ to beِ toxic orِ ineffective, heِ said.
I haveِ identified certainِ chemical structures thatِ areِ key inِ the corrective effects ofِ these molecules, asِ well asِ identified twoِ molecular targets onِ the protein forِ future therapeutics, heِ said.