An 18-year-old Chennai-born girl has won this year’s A*Star Talent Search award in Singapore, reported The Hindu. This was for her study of genetic heart disease -- “hypertrophic cardiomyopathy”. Vijayakumar Ragavi studies at the National University of Singapore’s High School for Mathematics and Science as a year 6 student.
Spent two years preparing for her project
Ragavi topped the list of 611 other students from secondary and tertiary institutions. The award includes a cash prize, a trophy, a sponsored trip to an overseas conference and a certificate for winning the competition.
The Singaporean citizen said she spent almost two years studying for this project on hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. She said, “It is estimated to be the most genetic heart disease in the world. People with the disease often suffer from arrhythmia induced sudden cardiac death.”
Ragavi’s research focused on stem-cell technology. This allows detection of genetic disease through blood samples, rather than the typical method of performing cardiac biopsies. Arrhythmia is a group of conditions where the heartbeat is irregular, too slow or too fast.
Ragavi will be pursuing a degree in biomedical science at an overseas university next year. The youngster wants to become a researcher. She wants to work in the field of stem cell and regenerative medicine
Her father, Rajamanickkam Vijayakumar, who works at Hewlett-Packard, and home-maker mother Rajendran Gomathi aere proud of their daughter's achievement. Her mother was quoted as saying, “She put in a lot of effort for the research study and her efforts have paid off.”
A*STAR Talent Search
A*STAR Talent Search is a 2006 initiative that rewards students who have performed well in scientific research. It is part of the A*STAR Graduate Academy (AGA)’s Youth Science outreach to schools with the aim to inspire & encourage passion in science among youngsters in Singapore.
Last week, about 200 young researchers gathered in Biopolis to celebrate future innovations at the A*Star Talent Search (ATS) and Singapore Science and Engineering Fair (SSEF) Awards Presentation Ceremony 2018.
Bhawana is an intern with SheThePeople.TV
Picture Credit: The Straits Times