Hawken School student to present disease-fighting research at international medical science conference - Applied Clinical Trials

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Hawken School student to present disease-fighting research at international medical science conference Recognition follows series of awards garnered by high school junior


Hawken School student to present disease-fighting research at international medical science conference

Recognition follows series of awards garnered by high school junior

PR Newswire

GATES MILLS, Ohio, May 21, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Kush Khosla is just a junior in high school.

Hawken School

But next month, the student from Hawken School in suburban Cleveland will stand before an international medical science conference in Sweden to present his award-winning research that could lead to new treatments for bacterial infections and serious diseases, such as cancer. 

The research explores how antibiotics should be given to eradicate bacteria. For instance, giving antibiotic A might cause the bacteria to evolve so that antibiotic B can kill it.  Conversely, giving antibiotic B first might cause the bacteria to evolve in a way where it can't be killed. 

Khosla will explain his findings, "The Effect of Neutral Spaces in a Markov Chain Model of Bacterial Evolution," June 15-19 at the 9th European Conference on Mathematical and Theoretical Biology in Gothenburg, Sweden. The annual international gathering promotes theoretical approaches and mathematical tools in biology and medicine.

Khosla's research, which expands work done for his high school STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, Medicine) project, was conducted with Daniel Nichol and Dr. Jacob Scott, both PhD candidates in mathematics at the University of Oxford in England.

The connection occurred because Scott, a radiation oncologist and cancer theoretician, is a 1994 Hawken School graduate who pioneered the school's STEMM program. For Khosla, he also provided inspiration.

"Two of my friends' fathers died from cancer," Khosla said, "and when Dr. Scott said he wanted to attack cancer from a different, mathematical modeling viewpoint, I became consumed by the concept."

"I have been impressed by Kush's willingness to push himself and use his creative talents to advance our work as an integral member of our research team," Scott said. "I remain impressed by the way Hawken School encourages students to leverage their education in creative exploration of important topics."

Khosla's recognition at the international level follows a series of awards garnered at last month's Northeast Ohio Science and Engineering Fair, where 600 students from more than 80 schools competed for more than $20,000 in prizes. Khosla won the First Place Grand Award in Math and Computer Science, along with additional awards from Intel Corp. and the Cleveland Clinic Foundation.

In addition to his advanced work in math and science, Khosla studies Spanish and Mandarin, plays the cello, is a third-year varsity tennis player and has co-authored a patent on a new type of Internet connected appliance.

Khosla will graduate from Hawken School in 2015 and hopes to enter a university that supports intellectual curiosity across multiple disciplines and encourages student involvement in cutting-edge research.

"I am very thankful for my mentors and the 'experience everything' environment provided by Hawken School," he said. "I am looking forward to continuing my research in a university environment."

Hawken School is an independent, nonsectarian, coed day school of 984 students, grades Preschool through 12, located on two campuses in the eastern suburbs of Cleveland with an additional urban extension center located in University Circle. Founded in 1915, Hawken is recognized as one of the premier college preparatory schools in the nation with a diverse student body participating in a challenging program of academics, arts, and athletics that prepares them to meet the challenges of tomorrow's world.

Contact:  Lisa Lentz, Editorial Director
440-423-2051 llent@hawken.edu

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SOURCE Hawken School

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