Teenager discovers that different cancer vaccines are needed for young adults versus elderly

Written by: Lisa Stelzner

Primary Source: Daily Dose of Science Blog

A 19-year-old African-American college student from Chicago has already made some major breakthroughs in colon cancer research and is determined to find a cure.  Keven Stonewall started an internship in a university lab while he was still in high school and developed an experiment to test a colon cancer vaccine after seeing his close friend’s change in behavior from witnessing his uncle falling ill and dying of the disease.  Keven tested the potential colon cancer vaccine in older and younger mice, and injected aggressive colon cancer cells into the mice, and found the young mice’s tumors were eliminated while the older mice still developed tumors.

Scientists said Keven’s finding was very important, especially because two-thirds of colon cancer patients are elderly, and previous drug research has mostly only separated children from adults but not young adults versus elderly. Keven already won awards from science fairs, including the prestigious Intel International Science and Engineering Fair last year.  He is currently a biomedical engineering sophomore at the University of Wisconsin – Madison (he won six scholarships to attend college there).  He did an internship at the University of Chicago Comprehensive Cancer Center this summer.

Read more about his inspiring story and research here:


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Lisa Stelzner
I'm a plant biology PhD student studying monarch butterflies in Michigan, but I'm interested in lots of other types of science, too. I am interested in how breeding monarch butterflies choose their habitat based on floral species richness and abundance. Few studies have been conducted on optimal foraging theory when it involves an organism searching for two different kinds of resources, and butterflies are an ideal study system to investigate this, since many species are ovipositing specialists and only lay eggs on one species of hostplant, but are feeding generalists and nectar from a broad variety of flowering forbs.