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Paulomi Bhattacharya, 18, of Cupertino, submitted an Intel Science Talent Search chemistry project investigating structure-based drug design and used computational modeling to identify a new drug candidate for multiple myeloma, this country's second most common blood cancer. Paulomi studied p97, one of the cellular proteins that could potentially be targeted by myeloma drugs. She used an innovative method to explore the part of p97 she wished to target (called the N-domain) during natural changes in the protein's 3D shape, discovering a new binding site on the molecule. She then identified a compound with more binding affinity for the newly discovered N-domain cavity than any previously recorded. She believes that a structure-based approach can help speed the identification of the next generation of drugs. Paulomi attends The Harker School in San Jose where she is co-editor of the school's contributions to The Triple Helix Online. She is also co-captain of her club volleyball team. Paulomi's previous research includes projects on microbial fuel cells, radioactive emissions from granite, and nanoparticle synthesis. The winner of multiple awards in piano and science, Paulomi is the daughter of Partha and Sraboni Bhattacharya and speaks fluent Bengali.
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