Amazing Kids! Magazine

Amazing Kids! of the Month – June 2013 – Sarthak Sinha

Sarthak Sinha, Amazing Teen Scientist
By Kasey Dallman, AKOM Writer

 

Quote of the Month

“The best goal a young high school student can work towards is to gain a balance with having a wide range of skill sets which can help them succeed.”

-Sarthak Sinha, 16-year-old Amazing Teen Scientist

 

Sarthak Sinha, Amazing Teen Scientist

6-year-old Sarthak Sinha has been working in a professional laboratory for the past two years! Sarthak has been working on regenerative medicine relating to skin traumas. In addition, Sarthak has written abstracts, participated in the International Science and Engineering Fair, and is an ambassador for the Multiple Sclerosis Society in Canada!

Sarthak Sinha, amazing teen scientist!

Sarthak Sinha, amazing teen scientist!

We are so excited to introduce you to Sarthak! Keep reading to find out more about his innovative research!

 

Starting the Research Process

Sarthak began thinking about doing professional scientific research in ninth grade after hearing about a special program for seniors. The program allowed the students to submit scientific proposals and work in a lab to answer the hypothesis for a three-month duration.

While Sarthak saw this as a perfect start for him he wasn’t old enough and he didn’t feel like a three-month time frame was long enough to complete research. Sarthak emailed his proposal anyways to the University of Calgary. Dr. Jeff Biernaskie replied to Sarthak and offered him a side project to work on skin regeneration under the guidance of Ranjan Kumar. “Without Ranjan’s encouragement I definitely couldn’t have seen myself more than the initial specified time duration,” Sarthak said.

Sarthak in with Dr. Jeff Biernaskie.

Sarthak in with Dr. Jeff Biernaskie.

 

Regenerative Medicine

In the lab, Sarthak is working to uncover the relationship between skin derived progenitor cells (SKPs) and other skin stem cells. Specifically his project is focused on how these cells communicate with each other. “We are now translating our findings into designing drug targets with sound rational to make the clinical translation of cell replacement therapy a viable option following chronic and severe skin trauma,” Sarthak said.

Sarthak working on his impressive stem cell research!

Sarthak working on his impressive stem cell research!

When people have significant skin trauma and require skin grafting, they often lose the abilities to sense touch, sweat, and have a poor recovery. The hope behind Sarthak’s research is that the SKPs can be used as stem cells for transplantation after such injuries.  “My contributions towards are leading to publications which provides a strong pillar and gives us a hope that one day we can harvest stem cells from the skin for injuries including spinal cord or peripheral nerve trauma,” Sarthak said. “We can also use these stem cells to regrow the dermis following skin grafts after burns and chronic wounding.”

 

Overcoming Hurdles

Before Sarthak studied and researched at the University of Calgary, he had to overcome many academic hurdles. After emigrating from India to Canada, Sarthak applied for a gifted school in his community.

At the time, Sarthak failed to qualify for acceptance.  “I channeled all my thoughts towards proving to the world my potential and the fact that I can be better than so called gifted students fueled my motivation to pursue health sciences.” Sarthak started looking up the best institutions in the world and came across the University of Calgary. “It became more than a goal to attain a position as an undergraduate student,” he said.

Sarthak never gave up, and now he is working in one of the best laboratories under the guidance of Dr. Jeff Biernaskie and Mr. Ranjan Kumar.

Sarthak never gave up, and now he is working in one of the best laboratories under the guidance of Dr. Jeff Biernaskie and Mr. Ranjan Kumar.

After becoming one of the youngest students at the university, Sarthak went on to accomplish all of his scientific research and more! We are so inspired by Sarthak’s “never giving up” attitude.

 

An Impressive Resume

In addition to his innovative stem cell research, Sarthak has an impressive scientific resume. He has authored five scientific abstracts that have been presented at international conferences, won a third place medal at the Intel Science and Engineering Fair, has taken summer courses at an ivy league school, and served as a national ambassador for the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada.

Sarthak at the Intel Science and Engineering Fair! His research won him a third place medal!

Sarthak at the Intel Science and Engineering Fair! His research won him a third place medal!

One of Sarthak’s favorite accomplishments was being awarded the Neuroscience Research Prize by the American Academy of Neurology. “It has provided me with the opportunity to present my work at an international conference in Neuroscience.”

While Sarthak views all of these as major accomplishments, his main vision is to be able to translate sciences back to society. “In the years working for a state of the art laboratory I missed the people’s side of the diseases,” Sarthak said. “I have recently joined Multiple Sclerosis Friendly Visiting Program to dedicate hours to patients suffering from such devastating disorders.”

Sarthak plans to earn his pre-med degree and then go on to study medicine and neurosurgery. “I would like to stay closely tied to the state of the art research and proudly walk away by saying ‘I lived in one of the most exciting periods of history and was able to contribute towards the progression of knowledge and mankind!’” We can’t wait to see what the future has in store for Sarthak!

 

Advice for Our Readers

We hope that you are just as inspired by Sarthak’s story as we are! If you would like to get involved with scientific research or other important projects, Sarthak has great advice for you!

First, get started early! Even if it isn’t with scientific research, immerse yourself in your passion. “The important moral is to simply keep trying until you find a passion worth working night and day,” Sarthak said.

Second, make sure you have a well-rounded development. “I feel that the best goal a young high school student can work towards is to gain a balance with having a wide range of skill sets which can help them succeed if paced in a specified niche.”

 

Sarthak’s Accomplishments!

  • Acceptance to University of Pennsylvania as a summer undergraduate student to study Biology 101.
  • 3rd Place Medallion at Intel International Science and Engineering Fair as a finalist for Team-Canada ISEF 2012
  • Ambassador of Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada 2012
  • Alberta Society of Gastroenterology Award 2012
  • Gold Medal at Calgary Youth Science Fair 2012
  • Invitation to apply to University of Calgary for Health Sciences Program 2012
  • Magna Cum Laude, Canada Wide Virtual Science Fair 2012
  • Silver Medal at Canada Wide Science Fair (CWSF) 2011
  • Scholarship to University of Western Ontario at CWSF 2011
  • Gold Medal at Calgary Youth Science Fair 2011
  • Calgary Medical Society Award 2011
  • Bachelors Of Health Sciences Award 2011
  • Travel Scholarship (Plum Foundation) Toronto, Ontario for Canada Wide Science Fair
  • Merit Award, Sanofi-Aventis BioTalent Challenge 2011
  • Summa Cum Laude, Canada Wide Virtual Science Fair 2011
  • Multidisciplinary Journal Experience: Editor and Committee Lead at Canadian Young Scientist Journal.