Prathik Naidu, a junior at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, organized the first Youth Bioinformatics Symposium at George Mason University in collaboration with the International Society for Computational Biology (ISCB).
The conference introduced middle school and high school students in the area to the exciting aspects of integrating computer science and biology.
Students explored the field of computational biology in different workshops at the symposium, such as protein modelling and DNA sequence alignment. There was also a science fair held for students, who presented idea that use computer science and engineering to help tackle a global health challenge in the medical field.
Following the success of the 2016 inaugural Symposium, Prathik plans to work closely with ISCB to organize more conferences and hands-on workshops across the country to build a national platform for encouraging youth to learn more about the growing importance of computational biology.
He hopes to pursue a career that combines his interests in computer science, biology, and entrepreneurship.