Stanford undergrad Prathik Naidu has some big plans this weekend: He’s heading to Sweden to present his research at Sunday’s Nobel Prize Awards Ceremony.
Stanford Report has the story:
Naidu’s research involves machine learning algorithms to identify three-dimensional interactions between segments of DNA in cancer cells – a process that Naidu said is challenging through lab-based methods.
‘Rather than using experimental techniques, you can do this kind of research on the computer,’ Naidu said, pointing out that while expensive, slow and sometimes unreliable lab tests exist, his program, called DNAloopR, can be run quickly from his laptop.
While genes are encoded along a linear strand of DNA, some segments interact in three dimensions, changing the way those genes turn on and off. In cancer cells, that 3-D structure can be altered, leading to unregulated growth and other effects. Researchers haven’t been able to easily and quickly understand the process or identify DNA segments that might be responsible.
The piece notes that Naidu has been working on his research for more than a year and a half, dating back to when he was as a senior in high school. He was chosen as one of three students to represent the U.S. at the Nobel ceremony after presenting his work at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Los Angeles last spring.
Previously: Stanford winners Michael Levitt and Thomas Südhof celebrate Nobel Week
Photo by Holgi