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Daniel Conor McQuaid, 17, of Ossining, studied the degradation of KLF6, a protein that induces cell death (a process associated with the rapid proliferation of cancer cells) for his Intel Science Talent Search biochemistry project. Dan looked for and found specific sites on KLF6 targeted by the molecules that cause it to degrade. He also found that when these sites are not present, KLF6 does not degrade as quickly and cell growth stops. Now that these sites have been identified, researchers can focus on developing methods to specifically inhibit KLF6 degradation. Dan used lung adenocarcinoma cells for his research; however, KLF6 also functions as a tumor suppressor in prostate, colorectal, gastric and other cancers, which gives his work broad potential. Dan is co-editor-in-chief of the school newspaper and editorin- chief of the literary magazine at Ossining High School, and he interned at The Northern Westchester Examiner. As passionate about soccer as he is about writing, Dan is center midfielder for a Westchester club team. He also serves as logistics coordinator for Relay for Life, which raises money for cancer research. The son of Michael and Gloria McQuaid, he is fluent in Italian and hopes to study oncology.
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