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TJ Graduate earns Davidson Scholarship for Brain Cancer Research

A Herndon teen who graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology this past June is one of 20 students from around the U.S. to be named 2018 Davidson Fellows, the Davidson Institute for Talent Development announced on Aug. 16.

Kavya Kopparapu, 18, earned a $50,000 Davidson Fellows Scholarship for cancer research that resulted in the development of a new, cost-effective method for detecting glioblastoma, an especially aggressive form of cancer that occurs in the brain and spinal cord.

“Kavya’s project is a major first step to personalized, targeted treatment for patients with cancer,” says a Davidson Institute for Talent Development profile for Kopparapu. “It identifies a significant disconnect in the treatment of patients in the current medical system. As a society, we’ve made leaps and bounds towards creating therapies targeted for a cancer’s specific genetic mutations, but have not significantly sped up the process for obtaining this tumor information.”

Kopparapu has been fascinated by science for as long as she can remember.