Bethesda, MD (WUSA) -- The Intel Science Talent Search is America's oldest and most prestigious pre-college science competition. This year nearly 1900 U.S. high school seniors entered the search with original science projects.
Among the 300 semifinalist is 17 year old Kevin Shaopin Tyan a senior at Walt Whitman High School in Bethesda. Even in a class of talented teens, he's a cut above the rest. He has been recognized for his inquiring mind and outstanding original research in this year's INTEL Science Talent Search.
Kevin is studying a variant of breast cancer called HER2 positive. His innovative research could lead to a break through in a treatment for breast cancer.
"The antibody I am working with has been designed to target breast cancer so it locates targets and attaches to breast cancer cells. What's special about it it has been modified to then attract white blood cells to destroy the targeted cancer cell," Kevin says.
He started working on this theory and interning at the National Institute of Health over 2-years ago and it's consumed most of his time.
Kevin's science internship coordinator Melanie Hudock tells us, "Once he started the research it excited him that what he was doing could make a difference that he was finding things no one else knew before."
His mom Meng Chang says Kevin always wanted to become a doctor since he was little but that isn't something he got from either of his parent.
When Kevin's school day ends at Whitman he heads to his other job at NIH at the National Cancer Institute. He wants to be a doctor. He's already been accepted at Columbia University where he'll start in the fall.
"I fell like I am part of a global community of scientist thousands if not millions of people working toward a common goal and to be able to be part of that really means a lot to me," Kevin says.
Besides Kevin, there are 17 other Maryland students and 13 Virginia students who are semifinalists. The Thomas Jefferson HS of Science & Technology has the most students with 11 students represented.
The 40-finalists will be invited to the nation's capital in March to undergo final judging, display their work to the public, and meet with notable scientists. The top prize is $100,000.