Cupertino teen wins $100,000 prize in science competition

This handout photo provided by Siemens Foundation shows Angela Zhang, 17, of Cupertino, Calif., who won top individual honors at the Siemens Foundation's annual high school science competition, which announced winners in Washington, Monday, Dec. 5, 2011. (AP Photo/Siemens Foundation)

December 5, 2011 10:29:13 PM PST
A Cupertino teenager aspiring to one day find a cure for cancer has claimed the top prize in a national science competition.

Angela Zhang, 17, won top individual honors and $100,000 at the Siemens Foundation's Annual High School Science Competition in Washington D.C. The Monta Vista High School senior says her cancer fighting research could be helping patients in about 25 years.

"I created a nanoparticle that's kind of like the Swiss Army knife of cancer treatment in that it can detect cancer cells, eradicate the cancer cells and then monitor the treatment response. So the major aim of the project was to personalize cancer medicine," said Zhang.

Zhang says her research is in part motivated by her family. Her great grandfather had liver cancer and her grandfather died of lung cancer when she was in the seventh grade. Stanford and Harvard are among her top picks for universities to attend.