Local Teen Selected As Semi-Finalist In Intel Science Talent Search

Posted: January 24, 2015 at 6:47 am

ELK GROVE (CBS13) Hes only 17, but hes already making big waves in the science community.

A local high school senior was selected as a semi-finalist in the 2015 Intel Science Talent Search. His research on stem cells set him apart from the rest. Out of hundreds of applicants, Ryan Fong, a senior at Sheldon High School in Elk Grove, is being recognized for his research in stem cells. Its an opportunity he says he wont soon forget.

Each of these cells is genetic material from one cell, he explains.

He doesnt come from a line of doctors or medical researchers. Fong is just a teenager interested in stem cells.

Its such a young field and it holds so much potential to redefine what we think is medically possible, he says.

Fong wasnt always intrigued by science, but a couple of years ago, at the request of a teacher, he decided to enter the Teen Biotech Challenge and happened to win an internship at the UC Davis School of Medicine.

I didnt know anything about research and I didnt know what I was getting into, but I dived in head first, said Fong.

That internship became a launching pad for Fong. He was published in a medical peer review journal called Stem Cells. And this past summer, he spent his time in Stanford among doctors and researchers working on reprogramming cells from a layer of skin so that it can match any cell type in the body.

So were taking someones cells from their skin and turning them into cells that can be found in the lungs, said Fong.

Their research on the topic won Fong a spot as a semi-finalist in the 2015 Intel Science Talent Search, and a $1,000 scholarship.

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Local Teen Selected As Semi-Finalist In Intel Science Talent Search

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