Emily Chen, a senior at Wayzata High Schools was named a semifinalist in the Siemens Foundation Competition in math, science and technology.
The semifinalists represent an elite group of only 331 students nationwide selected from the larger pool of almost 2,500 candidates.
Chen studied Fanconi Anemia, a genetic disease characterized by bone marrow failure, a much higher risk for developing cancer at a younger age as well as various other abnormalities. In a person with Fanconi Anemia one or more of the Fanconi Anemia proteins are mutated, which are important for DNA damage response. These Fanconi Anemia proteins are part of a complex that plays a significant role in preventing DNA damage that occurs naturally during DNA replication. Chen studied the interactions between these different proteins to further understand mechanisms important to control, as well as suppress, the risk of cancer. The possible implications of this project are far reaching.