Student wins Google Science Fair

July 19, 2011

Shree Bose, a high-school student from Fort Worth, is the Grand Prize winner (and also winner in the 17-18 age group) of the Google Science Fair and will receive a $50,000 scholarship from Google. Bose did her research at the UNT Health Science Center, where her mentor, Alakananda Basu, PhD, is professor of Molecular Biology and Immunology. Bose will be a senior at Fort Worth Country Day this fall.

The Grand Prize includes a trip to the Galapagos Islands, the archipelago that inspired Charles Darwin to devise his theory of natural selection, and other prizes. And from Lego, another sponsor, she wins two trophies: one for being the overall Grand Prize winner and another for winning the 17-18 age group.

For her winning project, Bose investigated drug resistance in ovarian cancer. Bose said she became interested in cancer after the death of a close relative. She explored the link between AMPK (the enzyme AMP-activated protein kinase) and resistance to the chemotherapy drug cisplatin. Bose found that when she inhibited the activity of AMPK, cancer cells reacted in two ways to cisplatin, depending on whether they were resistant to it or not. In non-resistant cells, inhibiting AMPK reduced cell death when they were treated with cisplatin, but in cells that were resistant to the drug, it boosted the cancer-killing effects of the drug.

Shree and the Health Science Center were recently recognized on CNN for the award.

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