ISS student sets the standard

Published 10:45 am Wednesday, January 10, 2018

From Staff Reports

Scientists and physicians who are working to find a cure for a form a cancer affecting millions of women and men across the nation are looking to a high school senior for inspiration. The student just so happens to live in Shelby County.

Ken Jiao, who is a senior at Indian Springs School, won a $25,000 scholarship on Dec. 5, 2017, at the national finals of the 2017 Siemens Competition in Math, Science and Technology after earning top individual honors and an additional $3,000 scholarship at one of six regional competitions earlier this fall.

Earning the scholarships and advancing this far in the competition is no small feat. The Siemens Foundation launched the competition in 1999 to promote student innovation and research by honoring individual and team research projects from across the country.

Jiao’s research project, entitled “Retain CHD7, an Epigenetic Regulator, in the Nucleus to Combat Breast Cancer Metastasis,” is shedding light on a potential way to determine if breast cancer cells are highly invasive, and how to inhibit them from spreading throughout the body.

The scholarships mark the efforts of years’ worth of work for the ISS senior, and is a personal passion for Jiao, as he began his research as a 10th grader after his mother experienced a breast cancer scare.

Indian Springs is no stranger to Siemens honors. In 2007 and again in 2010, a Springs student was among the 100 students nationwide named a state winner of the Siemens Award for Advanced Placement in the student category.

It’s remarkable to see a teenager so passionate and dedicated to such a complex and important topic. Congratulations to Jiao and Indian Springs School for producing work that will hopefully lead to a cure for such a terrible disease.