Age: 18Ashburn, VA
Category: Science/Cellular and Molecular Bio
Project Title: Reinventing Cardiovascular Disease Therapy: A Novel Dual Therapeutic with FOXO Transcription Factor and AMP Kinase
Heart disease is a silent killer. With one in three people worldwide dying from it, it's the leading cause of death in the world, claiming more lives than all forms of cancers combined. Currently there is no complete cure for heart disease. It's complex, with many components—including diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol—all connected by underlying molecular interactions in cells. Yet, current treatments work by addressing single aspects of the disease—such as treating hyperlipidemia with statins, or hypertension with beta blockers. This approach is similar to attempting to keep a sinking boat afloat by plugging each leak one at a time. I took a radically different approach. My novel heart disease therapeutic treats all of the disease’s components simultaneously by attacking crucial cellular processes that are the root cause of heart disease. Using two powerful regulatory proteins, my therapeutic restores underlying disruptions in shared disease pathways. Tested in a fruit fly model, her therapeutic preserved healthy heart structure, dramatically treated cardiac dysfunction, reduced fat accumulation, restored healthy blood glucose levels and prevented skeletal muscle damage. Most importantly, the therapeutic increased survival rates to nearly 100%.
Aside from modern necessities, what's one thing you couldn't live without?
In the News
ASHBURN TEEN AWARDED $25,000 FOR DEVELOPING NEW THERAPEUTIC FOR HEART DISEASE
Marissa Sumathipala to be Named a 2018 Davidson Fellow
Click here to download the full press release
Click the links below to see hi-res photos of Marissa:
Started in 1999, the Davidson Institute for Talent Development is a 501(c)3 private operating foundation. Our mission is to recognize, nurture and support profoundly intelligent young people ages 18 and under, and to provide opportunities for them to develop their talents to make a positive difference.
Profoundly gifted students are those who score in the 99.9th percentile on IQ and achievement tests. Read more about this population in this article.