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16-Year-Old Develops New Treatments for Cystic Fibrosis

Submitted by on May 15, 2011 – 10:58 amNo Comment

May 15, 2011

Marshall Zhang is a rather exceptional young man. The grade 11 Bayview Secondary School student (in Richmond Hill, near Toronto) has developed a new cocktail of drugs that could potentially treat – and maybe cure – cystic fibrosis.

Cystic fibrosis is a terrible, debilitating disease which causes the lung’s naturally caused mucous to become thick and sticky, and open to all kinds of infections.

Mr. Zhang speculated that combining drugs to treat the disease might offer a more effective means of treating the disease. He used Canada’s collaborative SCINET supernet to model the effects of different compounds on the mutant proteins responsible for cystic fibrosis.

Christine Bear at the Hospital for Sick Children, where Zhang conducted his research, noted:

“Marshall’s findings show that computational methods can drive the discovery of compounds that may offer effective treatment for cystic fibrosis.”

For his efforts, Mr. Zhang took home $5000 – first place in the 2011 Sanofi-Aventis BioTalent Challenge.


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