With a love for science and an interest in cancer research, Shree Bose is anything but an average 17-year-old. Bose has competed in and won national and international science fairs and has gained international recognition for her science research project on ovarian cancer drug resistance.
Bose, resident of the 109 and rising senior at Fort Worth Country Day School, recently won the grand prize at the first global Google Science Fair competition for her project that studied the role of AMPK protein in the resistance of Ovarian cancer drug Cisplatin.
Bose competed against more than 10,000 students from 91 countries.
In March, Bose applied for the Google Science Fair competition and hoped for the best. Bose soon found out she was a semi-finalist in the Google Science Fair. In May, Bose received information that she was in the top 15 finalists and would be flying to the Google headquarters in California to present her project to a panel of elite judges.
“I had five minutes to present three months of work, and I remembering thinking that is really not a lot of time,” Bose said.
As part of her grand prize winnings, Bose won a total of $50,000 in scholarship money, along with a 10-day trip to the Galapagos Islands with a National Geographic researcher, a three day trip to Switzerland to see the Large Hadron Collider, which is the world’s largest particle accelerator, and access to the digital archives of Science American for one year for FWCDS.
Google Science Fair finalists also all received an android phone and a Google Chrome book, which is not currently on the market.
The Google Science Fair isn’t the only science adventure Bose has been on this summer.
Bose won first place in her category at the Fort Worth Regional Science and Engineering Fair, which qualified her for the state competition. She also won “Best of Fair” for division one that qualified her to participate in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair.
Bose won second in her category at the state level, at the ExxonMobil Texas Science and Engineering Fair.
Bose participated in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Los Angeles, California, and received a scholarship of $60,000 to be distributed over four years for Florida Institute of Technology.
This summer, Bose also attended the Welch Summer Scholar program. The program is a five-week summer residency program at the University of Texas at Austin and allows students to get hands-on opportunities in the field of science. Bose worked in a molecular biology lab as part of the chemistry research program.
Bose also traveled to Slovakia the Expo-Sciences International Fair, which was held July 18 thru July 23. Bose won the gold medal in the biology category and a special over all prize.
Scientific interests started early
Bose has been doing science fairs since elementary school, where she attended Tanglewood Elementary.
As a second grader Bose participated in Fort Worth Invention Convention, which instructed students to come up with an idea no one ever thought of. Bose invented blue spinach, with the reasoning that kids don’t like to eat their vegetables because they are green. Bose injected the spinach plant but coincidentally forgot to water the plant and presented a dead stained spinach plant as her first science experiment, Bose said.
But she has come a long way since then.
In eighth grade, she placed in the top 30 in the nation for middle school science projects with an environmental science project, where she combined granite powder and plastic to make an eco-friendly material. Bose was invited to present the project in Washington.
Bose become interested in cancer research when she was only 15 years old, shortly after her grandfather passed away due to cancer.
“I decided at that point I wanted to go into the medical field and do cancer research,” Bose said. Bose then started emailing professors in the area she found on Google for permission to work in their research labs.
“I got rejected by a lot, but one accepted – Dr. Basu.” Bose said.
Dr. Alakananda Basu is a professor of molecular biology and immunology at the University of North Texas. Basu specializes in breast and ovarian cancer and gave Bose the opportunity to receive hands-on experience in cancer research.
Bose worked on a breast cancer research project two years ago. Last summer, she began a project on ovarian cancer and drug resistance among patients, which is the project she has presented in various competitions this summer.
Through the whirlwind of a summer Bose has had, she currently plans to begin the college application process. Bose has her sights set on Harvard University and would like to major in biology and do research. But, Johns Hopkins University, Stanford University and even TCU are all in the running as well, Bose said.
“I just want to help the world out a little bit,” Bose said.
In what little free time Bose can manage, she catches up on sleep and swims laps as a competitive swimmer, along with all of the normal teenage activities.
Bose is looking forward to entering the Science Fair for Seniors and Intel Science Talent Search in the upcoming year, with her current project.
In reply to how her parents are handling the recognition Bose has received, Bose said “My parents have always been my biggest fans.”