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Texas Students Win Regional Siemens Competition At The University Of Texas At Austin For Research On Cancer Therapy And Vaccine Development

AUSTIN, Texas, Nov. 9, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Months of dedication and hard work in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) paid off tonight for three students named National Finalists in the Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology, the nation's premier research competition for high school students. Frederick Lang of Houston, Texas earned the top honors and a $3,000 individual scholarship for research on cancer therapeutics. Research on vaccine development earned Alyssa Chen and Shriya Das, both of Dallas, Texas the $6,000 team scholarship.

The students presented their research this weekend to a panel of judges from The University of Texas at Austin, host of the Region Two Finals. They are now invited to present their work on a national stage at the National Finals in Washington, D.C., December 7-10, 2013, where $500,000 in scholarships will be awarded, including two top prizes of $100,000. The Siemens Competition, a signature program of the Siemens Foundation, is administered by the College Board.

"These incredible students have invested significant time and energy to advance research and exploration in critical fields," said David Etzwiler, CEO of the Siemens Foundation. "I commend the Region Two winners for their outstanding achievements and wish them luck in the next phase of the competition."

The Winning Individual

Frederick Lang, a senior at St. John's School in Houston, Texas, won the individual category and a $3,000 scholarship for his project, entitled Human Bone Marrow Mesenchymal Stem Cells as Biofactories for Exosomes Containing Anti-Glioblastoma miRNA.

For his project, Frederick identified a potential new treatment for the most malignant form of adult brain cancer. Using an innovative approach to RNA-based therapy, he reprogrammed the body's own cells to reduce their toxicity in the brain. His research demonstrates the ability to harness the natural power of stem cells to create therapeutics that could eventually be used to go after cancerous tumors.

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