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In Brief

Young Researchers Wage War on Cancer

15 February 2012

Students looking at a computer in a laboratory (State Dept.)

Students in science, technology, engineering and math are preparing the next great breakthroughs, as in the case of four students at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology who are researching environmental influences on cancer.

The next great breakthrough in the fight against cancer could come from the generation of young scientists now beginning their research in secondary schools.

Above, members of a team of students from Virginia's Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology gather to demonstrate their senior research projects on the environmental influences on cancer.

Jesse Witkowski (far left) is studying the effect of methyl RNA on pancreatic cancer. Cynthia Chen (second from left) is researching the effect of catechins, a source of tea’s health benefits, on cancer cells. And Stephanie Melendez (second from right) and Michael Ramada (far right) are looking into the effectiveness of a medication traditionally used to treat mental illness in treating solid tumors and late-stage cancers.