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Jennifer Wang

Location: Saskatoon, SK

Award: Young Canadians

Category:

Year: 2005

Innovation:

Rooting for a Cure!

News Release

Saskatoon's Jennifer Wang earns major Manning Award at Canada-wide science fair

VANCOUVER, BC —(May 20, 2005) Jennifer Wang, Grade 11 student at Walter Murray Collegiate Institute was recognized today as a 2005 Young Canadian Innovator for her cancer-related research project at the Canada Wide Science Fair, concluding Saturday at the University of British Columbia campus. She also picked up other awards at the ceremonies this afternoon.

The Canada Wide Science Fair is the annual culmination of science fairs held in 100 communities across Canada involving more than 25,000 students in grades 7 to 12. This year's Fair, the largest to date, involved 478 students discussing 384 projects.

As a Young Canadian Innovator, Jennifer receives $4,500 cash, plus a trip to the national Manning Awards ceremonies September 30 in Winnipeg. She has also been invited to attend the annual Canadian Science Writers Conference to be held mid-June in Jasper, Alberta.

Jennifer also received the Health Sciences Gold Medal and $1500, a $200 PetroCanada Peer Award and $2000 scholarships at both University of Western Ontario and the University of British Columbia.

Jennifer's project, Rooting for a Cure, investigated the feasibility of developing extracts from the Wild Sarsaparilla plant, which has properties similar to ginseng, which contain ginsenosides, reputed to help fight cancer. The Wild Sarsaparilla plant is a perennial found in abundance in the boreal forests of northern Saskatchewan.

"My study reveals, for the first time, the therapeutic application of Wild Sarsaparilla in treating human cancer cells, as promising derivatives can be developed into selective and effectual anti-cancer products without great side effects against normal cells. Additionally, the relatively high percentage of yield from the original plant suggests that such a developed product would generate a high economical return to benefit both the cancer patients and the market for alternative treatment products," explained Jennifer.

This is the 14th year that the Manning Awards Foundation has supported the Canada Wide Science Fair, recognizing the innovations of more than 70 bright minds at the high school level.

CONTACT:
Don Park, Executive Director, Manning Awards
403-645-8277.