OSSINING, N.Y. -- Ossining's Daniel McQuaid was one of 40 students out of more than 1,700 from across the nation chosen as a finalist in the prestigious Intel Science Talent Search competition. Despite falling short of the top 10, McQuaid's research in the competition can go a long way toward helping people in the future.
McQuaid and the other finalists were invited to an awards reception in Washington D.C. on Tuesday where the winner of the competition was announced. Sara Volz, 17 from Colorado Springs, Colo., took home the grand prize of $100,000. No students from New York placed in the top ten.
For the competition, McQuaid conducted a biochemistry research project that studied the degradation of KLF6, a protein that causes cell death and is associated with the formation of cancer cells. In a November interview with The Daily Voice, McQuaid said the inspiration behind the project came from personal experience. McQuaid lost a cousin to cancer several years ago and wanted to work towards finding a cure.
"It was really difficult losing someone in my family to cancer so I knew that from the beginning of high school that I wanted to go into science research at Ossining High School and I wanted to do something cancer-related,” McQuaid told The Daily Voice. “With this research, I could potentially really help people suffering from cancer. I think my project has made me realize that this could be really big and really exciting because there are some beneficial applications for the future that I think is the ultimate goal.”
The Intel Science Talent Search competition is one of the most prestigious competitions in high school education. Alumni of the Intel Science Talent Search have gone on to win sven Nobel Prizes, two Fields Medals and five National Medal of Science Awards.