A Special Messege For Scholars From Janelle Tam, Age 17, 2012 National Winner of the Sanofi BioGENEius Challenge Canada

Hi, my name is Janelle Tam, and I am last year’s national winner of the Sanofi BioGENEius Challenge Canada. My research was on the use of nanocrystalline cellulose, nanoparticles from trees, as an antioxidant agent that can neutralize the highly reactive atoms, known as “free radicals” that have been linked to diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.

I’m incredibly exited to come speak at the Congress of Future Medical Leaders, and get to meet some of the brightest young medical minds in the nation, you guys.

The future of medicine, especially medical research, is extremely bright. Scientists are making unprecedented progress in the labs, developing technologies we couldn’t have imagined a decade ago.

Nanotechnology, the science of things in the scale of 10 to the negative 9 meters, is a particularly exciting new frontier, simply because there is so much yet to be discovered. Everything changes at such a small scale, opening up new opportunities to use nanotechnology to revolutionize medicine. For example, therapies using nanoparticles for targeted delivery of chemotherapy drugs to cancer cells will help to drastically reduce the amount of negative side effects of conventional chemotherapy treatments. That’s just one example of the incredibly exiting opportunities that lie in store.

Furthermore, my hope is that we’ll also be able to find environmentally friendly solutions to these problems, so we can benefit humanity, without hurting our earth. We will be the ones responsible for continuing this legacy of discovery and development of better treatments and technologies for the future in order to fight to defeat disease, because we are the future.

 I’m really looking forward to joining you on this journey towards the medical field. I’ll be starting this fall at Princeton University in the pre-medicine track, studying Molecular Biology, and hopefully with a minor or certificate in Global Health Policy.

I’ll be walking alongside you on this road. I can’t wait to see all of your good-looking faces in Washington.

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