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At-Home Special: Olivia Bobrownicki’s Medical Breakthrough

While we have a unique opportunity to spend time at home together, we’re excited to introduce some special content, with inspiring stories and spotlights on our incredible students and teachers. We’d be thrilled to hear from you if there are any meaningful moments or recent projects that you’d like to share with us.

Fairmont Prep senior, Olivia Bobrownicki, has created a formula that could help doctors administer more effective doses of chemotherapy to adolescents.

Through her studies, Olivia discovered that doctors use a math formula from 1916 to determine chemotherapy dosages for adolescents. While satisfactory, the method does not take into account certain factors that are unique to youth. Olivia decided to create a new formula that would take these factors into account and help doctors adjust prescribed treatments for young patients.

Olivia was inspired at a science conference during her sophomore year, where she was given an assignment around measurements. After speaking with nurses and medical professionals, she decided to create a new formula. Olivia used a 3D scanner in Fairmont’s science lab to collect data from high school students and formulate the result. She is scheduled to present her findings at Regeneron Intel Science and Engineering Fair in Anaheim this year.

Olivia was equipped to pursue the project thanks to Fairmont’s Advanced Science and Engineering Program (ASEP). In ASEP, she had the chance to transfer DNA from a jellyfish into bacteria, making it glow in the dark. She says this experiment helped her to discover more about gene expression and disease spread. Olivia also recounts a summer project in Peru where she was able to instruct professionals in sequencing DNA using lab equipment that she had learned to use in ASEP.

Next year at university, Olivia will study international relations and infectious diseases — she ultimately wants to advise policy within a scientific framework, particularly for diseases caused by global warming. We’re excited that Olivia will continue to innovate and pursue meaningful change.

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