Shree Bose, 17, (pictured at far right) found that a metabolic enzyme affects ovarian cancer cells that can cause them to become resistant to certain treatments and discovered a way to improve cancer treatment when such resistance happens.
The Fort Worth Country Day senior wins $50,000 in scholarships, a trip to the Galapagos Islands for her project and a three-day internship to the prominent European Organization for Nuclear Research near Geneva, known by its French acronym as CERN. Fair winners were announced last night at Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, Calif.
Bose was inspired to research cancer after her grandfather died from the illness two years ago. She has presented related work to various science fairs, winning some top honors in the Fort Worth Regional Science and Engineering Fair and the Exxonmobil Texas Science and Engineering Fair. She was one of 15 finalists in the Google competition.
She did her research for the project as part of a larger research with Alakanada Basu, a professor of molecular biology and immunology at the University of North Texas Health Science Center who is studying drug resistant cancers. Basu said the teen approached her about two years ago to help in her lab.
"I'm so proud of her," Basu said. "We really challenged her on this project, and she just excelled. She’s doing not only well in science but in swimming and violin. Whatever she does she has the desire to excel."
Bose has spent many years competing in science fairs. In 2008, for example, she invented a new railroad tie aimed at reducing toxins. She was a finalist for the national Society for Science and Public Middle School Program competition for that project and had a minor planet named in her honor for it. She told the Star-Telegram then that she had been inspired to take on ambitious projects when she was 10 and her older brother Pinaki was competing in national science competitions.
“It was just surprising to me to see kids close to my age doing some really amazing things. ... I wanted to do something big like that,” she said at the time.
Learn more about Bose's project here.
Photo courtesy of Google.