Nikhil has already made a big impact on the world. From volunteering, to studying and now raising awareness for neurological diseases, read more about what he has planned next.
Q. How did you get interested in neuroscience?
In middle school, I needed volunteer hours for National Junior Honor Society so I decided to volunteer at a local senior center called Solterra Senior Living (Memory and Alzheimer’s Care). There, I worked with and helped residents who were affected by Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia. After seeing them struggle, I decided to try and learn on my own about how this disease worked, and that’s when my interest in neuroscience began.
Q. You have already received quite a bit of experience in science. What are some of the recent places you have worked?
I was awarded first place at the Arizona Science and Engineering Fair 2014 in the Medicine and Health Category (among 53 of Arizona’s Best Science Fair Projects in this category) because of my project titled, “A Proposal to Study the Effect of Heat on the Structure of Amyloid Beta Fibrils (fAβ) Associated with Alzheimer’s.” I won a nomination to the BROADCOM Masters National Science Fair and I was also accepted to a summer program at Brown University, where I spent time in a Biotechnology lab over 2014 summer studying DNA and biotechnology. Later, as I got to understand more about this subject, I drafted another proposal “Proposal for Investigating the Effects of Inhibition of Natural Antisense Transcripts for ADAM10 in vivo in Order to Overexpress ADAM10 as a Competitive Inhibitor for BACE1 for Less Production of βAmyloid”. My recent proposal is currently under review among a few notable scientists in this field. Additionally, I shadowed a Helios Scholar at TGen (Translational Genomics Research Institute) in Phoenix during summer of 2014 and in fall 2014 I shadowed a Neurologist in the east valley to better understand the clinical care aspect of neurological diseases.
Q. Why did you start a Researching for the Cure Club at Horizon Honors?
My goal in starting the Researching for the Cure Club at Horizon Honors was to do two things. First, I wanted to raise awareness and educate our community about diseases that affect millions worldwide such as Alzheimer’s Disease and Multiple Sclerosis. Also, I wanted to raise money and donate that money to organizations that fund labs doing research for diseases like Alzheimer’s. My desire to start this club came from the idea that I wanted to help seniors living in Solterra and other senior centers with diseases in any way for them to spend a few extra healthy years with their loved ones.
Q. What other activities are you involved in after school hours?
In addition to research, I have been playing Lacrosse for about 6 years and I currently am playing on the junior varsity team for Mountain Pointe High School. I play the saxophone in our High School Honors Symphonic Band. I also volunteer at St. Vincent de Paul and at St. Mary’s Food bank.
Q. What are your plans for the future?
My plan is to help the neuroscience and medicine fields in developing a cure for Alzheimer’s or at least significantly slowing it down. I shall continue to selflearn and seek help from research labs to apply my skills and abilities.
Nikhil is a ninth grader.