About Jason Christopher Wang
Jason used a mouse cell line to study different versions of the Ras protein and its effects on how cells normally stick together. As Ras is known to cause cellular changes leading to cancer, Jason’s work demonstrates some of the earliest examples by which cancer cells lose adhesion to one another, before they begin to spread.
Differential Effects of Oncogenic Ras Isoforms on EpitheliaView Poster
Jason Christopher Wang, 18, of Brentwood, explored how the connections among cancer cells are affected by changes in the signals that control when and how versions of specific proteins are expressed for his Regeneron Science Talent Search cellular and molecular biology project. Healthy cells stick together using a protein called cadherin. In cancer cells, this protein may become defective, allowing the cancer cells to roam free (metastasize). Using a mouse cell line, Jason identified how and why different versions of a signaling protein, called Ras, affect this process. His results provide insight into early changes at the molecular level, which he hopes will advance the understanding of the fundamental mechanisms of cancer growth, allowing for more efficient screening and earlier cancer detection.
Jason is an elite swimmer and record holder at Brentwood High School, and a two-time USA Scholastic All-American with records in backstroke and breaststroke. He has taught English to young children in Costa Rica, plans to study biomedical engineering in college, and aspires to create his own biotechnology startup. Jason is the son of Yalin Chang and Gordon Wang, who introduced him to the microscope, a most cherished memory.
Beyond the Project
Jason plans to study biomedical engineering in college and hopes one day to create his own biotechnology startup company.
FUN FACTS: Jason loves travel and adventure and took his first solo international trip last summer when he taught English to disadvantaged children in Costa Rica and stayed with a local family. Already, he has visited five of the seven new wonders of the world.