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Kun-Hyung Roh

Bronx High School of Science
Bronx, NY

Novel Drug Discovery Methodology Using Machine Learning for Gene Expression-Based Virtual Screening Predicts Novel Compounds To Reverse Alzheimer’s Disease With Applications to Cancer and Longevity by Inhibiting CtBP2 Expression

Kyle Roh developed A.I. software that he believes could help predict potential future drugs for Alzheimer’s disease and other conditions by determining their genetic targets rather than focusing on the resulting protein. He believes his work could make new drug development cheaper and faster.

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Kun-Hyung Roh, 18, of New York, created A.I. software that may ease potential drug discovery by identifying compounds that inhibit gene expression of proteins rather than focusing on the protein structure for his Regeneron Science Talent Search neuroscience project. Kun-Hyung focused on Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and current drug options called phenothiazines, which appear to reduce AD-related brain inflammation.

To try to determine how phenothiazines work in the brain, Kun-Hyung developed a machine-learning method that determined the drugs are targeting the expression of a specific gene’s protein whose levels are higher in the brains of AD patients, yet whose structure makes it difficult for the drugs’ small molecules to attach well, reducing their effectiveness. Using his A.I. model, he identified other potential substances that reduce the gene’s expression and lower protein levels. He believes his model may save valuable time in drug discovery for AD.

2024 Science Talent Search finalist Kun-Hyung Roh

Kun-Hyung founded the machine learning club at the Bronx High School of Science, which established a partnership with a nonprofit to teach free computer science classes to middle schoolers. The son of Yang Soo Kim and Taeho Roh, Kun-Hyung wants to discover new affordable disease treatments.

2024 Science Talent Search finalist Kun-Hyung Roh

Beyond the Project

Kyle loves cooking pasta and finding new recipes and he is obsessed with perfecting his sauces. He refers to his block of Parmesan cheese as his “saucerer’s stone.”

FUN FACTS: Kyle is a believer in the Korean concept “jamanchu,” which refers to bringing people together in a natural way. He has “matchmade” project teams, startup partners, and “of course, romantic couples.”

Illustration of 2024 STS finalist Kun-Hyung Roh by Amy Wike