Meet Keven Stonewall, a 21-year-old undergraduate student at the University of Wisconsin whose curiosity may lead him to finding a cure for colon cancer.
According to Stonewall, when he was about 10 years old – in the 5th grade – he received a microscope as a Christmas present from his parents. The present stimulated an interest in science, which would eventually lead him to discover a major breakthrough in the cure for colon cancer.
It was during his last year of high school while interning at a lab on the Chicago-based Rush University, that he stumbled on a a critical age-related drawback in an experimental vaccine aimed at preventing colon cancer in mice.
He injected older and younger mice with the experimental vaccine before also injecting them with aggressive colon cancer cells. All of the younger mice developed immunity to the cancer while the older mice did not, leading Stonewall to conclude that older people with colon cancer might need separate treatment to successfully combat the disease.
His research was published in the Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer, and he was a finalist in the 2013 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair.
Watch Keven Stonewall’s Tedx talk on finding a breakthrough to fight Colon Cancer:
In addition to his continuing research on colon cancer, he is also conducting research on potential treatments of neuroblastoma – a type of cancer commonly found in young children.
He has also done some research on breast cancer. “I don’t want to only focus on colon cancer,” he said. “I have a bigger picture in mind. I want to cure cancer, and the more informed I am, the better physician I will be.”
His advice to young entrepreneurs pursuing their passion: “Don’t be afraid to feel isolated. We’re going to be different, but a lot of times the different people are the Bill Gates, the Steve Jobs, the Gandhi, or the Dr. Martin Luther King.