A University of Utah’s cancer research team includes a teenager from Hillcrest High School.
Hillcrest senior Naveen Rathi is studying ovarian cancer treatments at a U. lab with Dr. Bruce Gale, Director of the State of Utah Center of Excellence for Biomedical Microfluids and Executive Director of the U. College of Engineering Nanofabrication Facility. He is working on an instrument to mimic the human condition. The instrument processes cells from a cancer patient to target individualized treatments and maximize patient benefits.
“I hope one day this device is used in hospitals throughout the world,” Rathi said recently while taking a break at the U. lab.
Rathi’s rise to university-level research began after a Canyons District Science Fair. Rathi’s project, submitted his sophomore year, stood out at the Salt Lake Valley Regional Science Fair, where Rathi was invited to put his skills to work at a summer internship at the U.
Dr. Gale was so impressed with Rathi’s skill and initiative that he invited him to continue working on the project. He’s been working with Dr. Gale since.
Dr. Gale says Rathi is like no other high school student with whom he has worked. While many students have come through his lab, none have had Rathi’s initiative. “I expect big things” from Rathi, Dr. Gale says.
Rathi already has been offered a full scholarship at the U. He also is waiting to hear back from other universities before making his selection.
Rathi’s exceptional work recently was profiled by KUTV anchor Cristina Flores.