PALO ALTO, Calif. (KGO) --Recent Gunn High School graduate Emily Wang's deep, personal connection to cancer is driving her to find a cure for the disease.
Emily loves to sing, but she also has a passion for all things science, and she's an inventor.
The top scholar and recent Henry M. Gunn High School grad will be stepping off that Palo Alto campus and on to Harvard University's in the fall.
"I went on the online portal; Mark Zuckerberg is like 'Congratulations,' you know, you'll get to go to Harvard and I was just like, 'Wow, is this real,'" Emily said.
Emily will be studying biology and computer science -- fitting since she's already researched and engineered the brightest, fluorescent protein to date. They're used to detect cancer cells.
"We can use it to track the metastasis of cancer cells, we can use it to observe the genetic activity so we can look at the genetic basis for cancer, and there are just so many applications, which is why I'm so interested in this research," Emily explained.
Emily's contribution and motivation to advance cancer research and treatment is also very personal. Her grandmother died from brain cancer when she was much younger.
"When I'm older, I want to look back and like I was able to contribute something even if it was one project that I worked on, I was able to make a difference and yeah, that's what I want to do," Emily said.
This is the ninth year for ABC7's Top Scholars program, where ABC7 gives recognition to seven outstanding students, each of whom receives a $1,000 scholarship toward his or her college education. Watch Sunday, July 6 at 10 a.m. to learn more about all of our Top Scholars!