Zheng Yan Wins Second at ISEF


Zheng Yan

Zheng Yan (’16) won a second place award at ISEF in his category of biomedical sciences.

From May 10 to 15, over 1,700 students across the world gathered at Pittsburgh, PA to present their research and findings at the International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF). Among these students was BC junior Zheng Yan, who won second award at the fair in his category of biomedical sciences for his research on stem cells and their application in resolving the damages done by heart attacks.

Yan expressed his mild discouragement upon seeing the competition at the fair. “It was pretty overwhelming at first – competition was ridiculously intense,” he said. “One kid from South Korea gave me his business card. I asked him what it was, and he said he had a patent on a wheelchair that he invented…needless to say, it was quite intimidating.”

Despite the tense competition, Yan won a second place award in the biomedical sciences category. “I really didn’t expect second place. I was honestly just hoping to place,” he admitted. For his placement, Yan won $1,500, and was presented an opportunity to name an asteroid after himself by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

“Overall, it was one of the best weeks of my life,” Yan said. “It wasn’t just an amazing academic experience, but also a once-in-a-lifetime social experience. I was best friends with two people from Mississippi for a night, as well as a girl from New Mexico whose poster on cancer genes was next to mine. I hung out with a group of engineers from Sri Lanka, and a really nice group of Saudi Arabian girls as well.”

Yan expressed content in both his results and the journey that took him there, as well as disappointment in the fact that he may be unable to participate next year due to a busy schedule. For him, there is no doubt that this will be an unforgettable experience for years to come.