Under the guidance of McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine affiliated faculty member Michael Lotze, MD, professor of surgery and bioengineering and vice chair of research in the Department of Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh, Ishan Chatterjee, a 16-year-old Fox Chapel Area High School student, has performed work that even graduate-level students likely would find intriguing. Mr. Chatterjee is the youngest student ever to be conducting research with scientists in Dr. Lotze's lab at the Hillman Cancer Center in Shadyside. Ishan's research revolves around a particular protein, BAT3 and its role in cancer cells' resistance to chemotherapy.
As reported by Julie Martin for the Valley News Dispatch, Mr. Chatterjee's work has received recognition and quite a number of awards this year:
- He recently was named one of three state finalists in the Pennsylvania BioGENEius Challenge. He and the other finalists will attend the national BioGENEius Challenge and compete for a chance to take part in the International BioGENEius Challenge.
- He received a second-place grand award at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in the cellular and molecular biology category.
- He garnered a first-place win in the medicine category at the Pennsylvania Junior Science and Humanities Symposium.
- He was chosen to be one of two delegates to the American Association for the Advancement of Science National Convention, to be held next year in Vancouver, British Columbia.
- He received sponsor awards from the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine and the Pittsburgh Tissue Engineering Initiative, Allegheny County Medical Society Foundation, and the Allegheny-Singer Research Institute at Allegheny General Hospital at the 72nd Pittsburgh Regional Science and Engineering Fair, Pittsburgh.
"He's pretty much ahead of the game," Dr. Lotze said. "We're delighted that he's going to be with us."
"I'm particularly interested in bioengineering, which combines engineering and medicine," Mr. Chatterjee said. He is interested in oncology and plans to pursue a graduate degree and a medical degree.
"My favorite part is the people I've interacted with at the lab and at the science fairs," he said. "I've learned a lot from them but I've also had a ton of fun with them."
Pittsburgh Tissue Engineering Initiative: Science Fair 2011