17-year-old Angela Zhang with her scholarship from Siemens. (AP Photo/Siemens Foundation)

Do you love TED Talks? So do I. Today’s post is a continuation of our Girls of TED Talks series, which focuses on young girls who have presented at TED events around the world with their inspiring ideas.

Angela Zhang was taught one key thing: break a big question down into smaller, more manageable pieces in order to answer it. Taking this wisdom from her father, 17-year-old Angela set out to revolutionize cancer treatment. Working with her chemistry teacher, Angela undertook an advanced research project to mix cancer medicine with polymers. The result was a nanoparticle that can attach itself to cancer cells and show up on MRIs – allowing doctors to identify exactly where cancer tumors are. Using an infrared light, doctors can then melt the polymer and release the medicine inside of it, helping to more effectively kill cancer cells while leaving healthy cells unharmed.

Her results could revolutionize cancer treatment for thousands. In 2012, her invention came to worldwide attention when she won the national Siemens Competition for Math, Science, and Technology – and a $100,000 scholarship.

Angela took the stage at TEDxTeen in 2012 to share how her nanoparticle will change cancer treatment:

A true Cinderella moment for Angela, her story is an inspiring example of how when girls pursue STEM fields, they have the power to change the world.

-Tiffany Rhoades
Program Developer
Girl Museum Inc.

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