A 14-year-old is rolling in with a treatment for melanoma in the form of a bar of soap. How amazing is that?
Heman Bekele, a 9th grader at W.T. Woodson High School in Annandale, Virginia, spent 8 months working on his idea for 2023 3M Young Scientist Challenge, and walked away with the $25,000 prize! He also gets the title of “America’s Top Young Scientist.”
Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States, and treatments costs run around $8.1 billion each year. He was motivated by how widespread the issue is and the fact recovery rates in sub-Saharan Africa were 20% compared to 98% in America. So he went to work combining simple compounds in the soap that kept costs low.
Over the next five years, he hopes to keep working on it and by 2028, create a nonprofit organization that will get his low-cost solution to communities in need.