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Luke Huang

New Canaan High School
New Canaan, CT

Binary Cellular Analysis: Understanding the Link Between Aging and Mortality Risk

Luke Huang developed a mathematical model to provide new insight into the elevated risk of death as people age by combining a numerical simulation with research that shows how cell damage adds up with age to assess how that accumulation might shorten lifespans.

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Luke Huang, 17, of New Canaan, developed a mathematical model that assesses how cellular damage increasingly elevates the risk of death as people age for his Regeneron Science Talent Search computational biology and bioinformatics project. Our probability of death doubles every eight years, and age-related diseases like heart disease account for two-thirds of all deaths worldwide – but the connection between aging and this increased risk is poorly understood. To better grasp it, Luke combined a numerical simulation with a mathematical model that shows how cell damage accrues with age.

He believes this mechanistic insight into the relationship between aging and disease risk could validate the basis for a systematic approach to studying anti-aging treatments and for studying how conditions like diabetes increase the risk of age-related diseases.

2024 Science Talent Search finalist Luke Huang

Luke attends New Canaan High School, where he runs track and founded a renewable energy club. Another group he founded is working with affordable housing facilities to ease energy costs for low-income residents through a community solar farm subscription. The son of Yi Huang and Lin Sun, Luke wants to become a biophysicist and lead an interdisciplinary lab to explore life-saving treatments.

2024 Science Talent Search finalist Luke Huang

Beyond the Project

As features editor of his school’s newspaper, Luke is leading an initiative to increase the paper’s featured output of podcasts, audio stories, and blogs.

FUN FACTS: Luke likes to wind down by writing poetry about topics ranging from plucking mulberries along Seattle’s rain-soaked streets to the wonder inspired in him by standard model symmetries.

Illustration of 2024 STS finalist Luke Huang by Amy Wike