Amal Aziz is a grade 11th student who recently participated in the 2018 Canada Wide Science Fair in Ottawa.
“My project is essentially designing a drug for Alzheimer. Right now, the drugs that are available for that disease can only treat the symptoms and not the disease itself,” says Amal Aziz.
According to her research, a novel tailor-made Trojan horse drug can be quickly turned into an aggressive molecule, destroying the residual amyloid plaques in the brain.
“Right now, it’s believed that Alzheimer disease happens because of the over accumulation of toxic molecules called ‘Abeta,’ and instead of Abeta being over produced, it’s not being clear away. And for that I decided to design my own drug,” adds the 11th grade student at Laurier Secondary School.
This technique can be the most effective drug that is discovered for Alzheimer’s disease so far.
“Initially, I didn’t have a plan to solve this complicated disease. You can sort of see different things that scientists have already picked up. For example, this Trojan horse concept has already being used in other diseases, but from what I read, it hasn’t been extensively applied for Alzheimer disease,” states Aziz in an interview.
“Seeing that high failure just piqued my interest, I got curious, and I just wanted to read as much as I could and trying to learn more about it,” she added.
She won gold medal in the Excellence Award and Senior Youth Can Innovate Award. She has also been offered 6 entrance scholarships from the University of Manitoba, University of Ottawa, UBC Science, Carleton University, Dalhousie, and Western University.
“I felt so lucky that I was able to convey my project to the judges and that they were able to recognized it. It’s just a really happy time when you get there; you are all nervous in the awards ceremony, and you are wondering if your name is going to be called or not. When that moment really comes, its a way of relief that your hard work paid off,” says the student.