A Hathaway Brown senior took home a $1,000 scholarship, an Amazon Kindle and a bronze medal for excelling at her desired profession — cardiovascular disease.
The Siemens Foundation named Gurbani Kaur the only finalist in Ohio of its 2012 Competition in Math, Science & Technology. She earned that distinction for designing nanoparticles that encapsulate drugs and go directly to the location of a patient's cardiovascular disease.
"In cardiovascular dieseases, the current strategies that we use are highly invasive procedures that are coupled with drugs to remove blood clots, which are the major components of any cardiovascular disease," she said. "The drugs that are delivered throughout the body are circulating everywhere, so the drug interacts with healthy tissue and that can produce horrible side effects, which can be fatal. We don't know how much the drugs are getting to the appropriate site."
Gurbani's research sought to change that, and Siemens judges were so impressed that they elected the HB student to present her findings last month at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind. Gurbani, the daughter of two doctors, already knew she wanted to work in medicine, but the Notre Dame experience convinced her to pursue cardiovascular disease.
She is awaiting results from her college applications before selecting a university.
Gurbani said she transferred to HB in ninth grade specifically to participate in the school's Science, Research & Engineering program. She has been working at the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Case Western Reserve University on her own time since her freshman year. She studies under Dr. Anirban Sen Gupta.
"The school provides transportation, so they've been really helpful," Gurbani said. "It's been really nice to be able to be in high school and still work and be exposed to the real world of science.
"It's more exciting than it is in the textbooks."