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Philadelphia 11th Grader Wins HPF Health Tech Award

Joel Koshy's Research May Help Categorize Some Terminal Cancers as Treatable Chronic Diseases

Philadelphia, PA — A teen’s family history of cancer inspires his award-winning science fair project and suggests new classifications for some cancers, earning him the Health Partners Foundation Health Tech Award. Joel Koshy, an eleventh grade student at George Washington High School, presented research that focused on breakthroughs for cancer treatment and genomics during the 37th annual George Washington Carver Science Fair for secondary school students, held at Temple University.

Joel’s experiment, titled Recruitment Analysis of Retrovirus Proteins to a CMV Promoter Regulated Transcription Site, identified effective proteins that can be used in the fight against cancer.  His research could help categorize some cancers as a chronic but treatable disease, as opposed to the terminal categories under which many cancers are now classified.

“Joel’s research was conducted using cloning and replication. It was very well done,” said Mark Johns, director of systems design and development at Health Partners Plans (HPP) and volunteer judge and member of the Carver Committee. “The results highlighted an optimistic future in research for a grave issue that affects some HPP members, as well as the population at large.”

The Health Partners Foundation has supported the George Washington Carver Science Fair — the oldest of its kind in the country — for the past 16 years. It encourages urban youth to pursue academic excellence, civic involvement and careers in science. The Health Partners Foundation Health Tech award is given to a student in 7th through 12th grade whose project focuses on health related issues, medicine and nutritional awareness. Both Joel and his school received a monetary award.

The Health Partners Foundation supports low-income communities in Philadelphia and surrounding counties with educational programs, scholarships, emergency assistance and more.  A 501c3 nonprofit organization, the Foundation was founded by and continues to be funded by our employees as well as vendors and friends of Health Partners Plans who share our commitment to offering a helping hand in disadvantaged communities.