Nikhiya Shamsher

2019 Honorable Mentions
QuitPuff: A Point of Care Diagnostic for Early Risk Detection of Oral Pre-Cancer and Cancer in Chronic Smokers
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Nikhiya Shamsher
 

I believe math is the language by which the universe speaks to itself. If you figure out math and physics, you can figure out the universe, and imagine what we could do with all that information!

 

About the Project:

L to R: Judges Drs. Janet Neisewander and Jonna Jackson, Nikhiya Shamsher, Judges Drs. Michelle Jobe and Cassandra Gipson-ReichardL to R: Judges Drs. Janet Neisewander and Jonna Jackson, Nikhiya Shamsher, Judges Drs. Michelle Jobe and Cassandra Gipson-Reichard

What if you lived in a community where many people smoked, but there was little access to health care? That is the situation faced by a teen in Bangalore, Karnataka, India, where oral cancer accounts for 30% of all cancers in the country. Sixteen-year-old Nikhiya Shamsher of Greenwood High School in Bangalore worried that too many teens and adults in her community were smoking or chewing tobacco but were ignoring signs of mouth cancers because it was too expensive to go to the doctor or a doctor was hard to get to in parts of India.

She decided if she could find an inexpensive chemical test that would identify the amount of MDA in someone’s saliva, that person would be warned that oral cancer was developing (pre-cancer) or had already started to grow. So, she developed a system she named QuitPuff.

Q&A with Nikhiya