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Intel Finalists 2014

Angela Kong of Lynbrook High School and Vishnu Shankar and Natalie Ng of Monta Vista High School are among the forty high school seniors from across the United States who are celebrating their selection as finalists in the country’s oldest and most
prestigious pre-college science competition, the Intel Science Talent Search.

The Intel Science Talent Search encourages students to tackle challenging scientific questions and develop skills to help solve some of the world’s greatest challenges. Entrants are judged on the originality and creativity of their scientific research projects as well as their achievement and leadership both inside and outside the classroom.

Intel finalists 2014 SMALL.jpgWhen Natalie Ng received the good news about her Intel finalist selection she could hardly contain her joy and enthusiasm. “The person on the other line must have thought I was crazy because I couldn’t get a coherent word out,” she said. “I could only mouth the words ‘thank you’ over and over.” Natalie’s research project is titled ‘Advancing Precision Medicine: MicroRNA Prognostic Signatures and Prediction Models for Distant Metastasis Free Survival in Breast Cancer.’ She worked for more than a year
developing a diagnostic tool to help doctors identify breast cancer patients who are at a high risk of spreading cancer from one organ to another.

Vishnu Shankar’s research project was titled ‘The 3D Structure of Human DP Prostaglandin G-Protein Coupled Receptor Bound to Selective  Antagonists from GEnSeMBLE Predictions.’ His research provided additional information about the structure of a protein that could help  scientists design drugs to target cardiovascular disease and allergies. In spite of Vishnu’s impressive achievement, he is quick to honor those  with whom he has worked and Vishnu explains, “This honor is a testament to how good my mentors have been in terms of tailoring my ideas and making them more lucid. This opportunity provides a venue for my idea and other people’s ideas to be exposed to the public so that they can see what the future of science will be.”