Intel announces winner of Science Talent Search 2014

WASHINGTON — Intel and the Society for Science and the Public recognized winners of the Intel Science Talent Search, a pre-college science and math competition.  

Eric S. Chen, 17, of San Diego took home the top award of $100,000 for his research of potential new drugs to treat the flu. His approach combined computer modeling with structural study and biological validation, with a focus on drugs that inhibit endonuclease — an enzyme essential for viral reproduction. Chen said he hopes his work will lead to a class of new medications to control flu outbreaks during a pandemic.

“Society for Science and the Public proudly joins Intel in congratulating Eric Chen for his impressive research toward potential new drugs for influenza,” said Rick Bates, interim CEO and chief advancement officer of SSP. “By linking technology and science to the problems of the world they see around them, Eric and all the Intel Science Talent Search finalists are tomorrow’s problem solvers.”

 Eric S. Chen, 17, of San Diego, Calif. (center) wins the first-place prize of $100,000 in the Intel Science Talent Search.

The honor of second place (along with $75,000) went to Kevin Lee, 17, of Irvine, Calif. Using a mathematical model, Lee described the shaped of the heart as it beats using the principles of fluid mechanics. His model could provide insights into arrhythmia, which might mean better treatments for the disease.

“We at Intel celebrate the work of these brilliant young scientists as a way to inspire the next generation to follow them with even greater energy and excitement into a life of invention and discovery,” said Wendy Hawkins, executive director of the Intel Foundation. “Imagine the new technologies, solutions and devices they will bring to bear on the challenges we face. The Intel Science Talent Search finalists should inspire all of us with hope for the future.”

The Intel Foundation awarded $1.25 million for the Intel Science Talent Search 2014. This year's finalists come from 33 schools in 14 states. Out of the 1,794 high school seniors who entered the talent search, 300 were announced as semifinalists in January. Of those, 40 were selected as finalists and invited to Washington to compete for the top 10 awards. The finalists join the ranks of some impressive company. Science Talent Search Alumni have have gone on to win eight Nobel Prizes, two Fields Medals, five National Medals of Science, 11 MacArthur Foundation Fellowships and an Academy Award for Best Actress.

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