Alexandria student wins $70,000 in science competition

Prathik Naidu (ABC7 photo)

In his final year of high school Prathik Naidu is seeing his hard work pay off.

The senior at Thomas Jefferson High School in Alexandria told ABC7 News, "I was so surprised. I was very shocked. I was happy. I really think it sunk in maybe a few hours afterwards that I actually won 7th place in this competition."

The 18-year-old recently took home $70,000 in the Regeneron Science Talent Search.

"What I essentially did was built an easy to use software that can analyze the cancer DNA. "Using the software I was able to analyze some new aspects of the cancer genome," he shared.

More than 1700 high school seniors participated in the competition but only the top ten projects were considered for prizes of up to 250-thousand dollars.

Naido will use the money he earned to fund college and is offering his software to other scientists around the country with the hope that it will lead to a better understanding of cancer and improved therapies.

"It's important to me as a person to be able to take some of my science knowledge and really continue that but also be able to learn some of these new initiatives to bring products from bench to bedside." he said.

The Regeneron Science Talent Search is produced by the Society for Science & the Public and sponsored by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

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