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(Lucie) Yueqi Guo and Xianlin Li, the North CarolinaSchool of Science and Mathematics, Durham, NC

National Winners $100,000 Team Scholarship Southern Region Silver Medal Winners

“CpG island methylation of GADD45 a is marker of breast carcinogenesis”

Ms. Guo and Ms. Li’s genetics research project examined the effect of a natural gene silencing process or methylation on breast cancer. In their project the two students demonstrated that breast cancer cell lines exhibit a specific pattern of silent (methylation) sites in GADD45 a, a prospective tumor-suppressor gene. The methylation sites in the gene present potential new biomarkers for personalized methods of early detection as well as treatment of breast cancer, a critical step in the successful treatment of the disease.


Ms. Guo was driven to join the war against cancer when she discovered that women she knew were diagnosed with the disease. She joined a breast cancer research lab during a summer mentorship and became interested in exploring the genetic causes of cancer.

A senior, Ms. Guo is fluent in Mandarin. She is production manager of her school literary magazine, an editor of her school newspaper, and a senior class representative in student government. She also volunteers in the Duke Hospital Auxiliary Junior Volunteer Program. She enjoys playing the piano (North Carolina All-State), choir, journalism, painting, running, dance and teaching Mandarin. She also enjoys creative writing and published a poem in Teen Ink Poetry Journals. Ms. Guo plans to study biology, biochemistry, biophysics and biomedical engineering in college.

Ms. Li, a senior, is also fluent in Mandarin. She is co-captain of Science Olympiad where she has won several awards, including two gold, one silver and two bronze medals at the Regional Science Olympiad and a bronze medal at the State Science Olympiad. She is also co-captain of Envirothon and is a member of the Academic Team and World Quest. Ms. Li spends her free time volunteering at local libraries and museums, reading, traveling and watching sports. She aspires to be a cardiac surgeon and history teacher.

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