Marshall Zhang, 16-year-old from Toronto Discovered Potential Cystic Fibrosis Cure (Photo)

By on May 13, 2011 in Health, Science, Technology, United States Comments

Marshall Zhang
Image Credit: Canadian Press/Fred Chartrand

Marshall Zhang, an 11th-grade student at Richmond Hill’s Bayview Secondary School, got first place in the 2011 Sanofi-Aventis BioTalent Challenge on Tuesday, May 10, 2011 for inventing a possible treatment for cystic fibrosis.

According to reports by several international news sites, Zhang, a 16-year-old from Toronto, used a supercomputer system to formulate a new drug combination that shows potential in treating the genetic disorder cystic fibrosis.

Dr. Christine Bear, a researcher at the Hospital for Sick Children’s Research Institute in Toronto, served as Zhang’s mentor. Zhang used the Canadian SCINET supercomputing network for his investigations and testing of his theories.

“I have identified certain chemical structures that are key in the corrective effects of these molecules, as well as identified two molecular targets on the protein for future therapeutics,Zhang said in a statement.

Cystic fibrosis, based on reports, is a potentially fatal condition caused by a genetic mutation, or error. The disease can cause thick, sticky mucus that build up in the lungs and elsewhere. According to Mayo Clinic, most people with cystic fibrosis do not survive in their teens since it has no cure.

Marshall Zhang will be competing against US and Australian teams for the International BioGENEius Challenge in Washington, D.C. on June 27, together with a trio of Montreal students who took second place for making sorbet without gelatin.

Marshall Zhang Presents His Cystic Fibrosis Treatment
Image Credit: Tom Devecseri, National Research Council of Canada

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