My name is Anoop Manjunath, and I am a grade 12 student attending the University of Toronto Schools. My involvement in STEM began with my participation in the Focused Ultrasound High School Summer Research Program at Sunnybrook Research Institute. This opportunity opened my eyes to the rigours of research, and I was fortunate to coauthor the paper “Interactions Between Individual Ultrasound-Stimulated Microbubbles and Fibrin Clots”. My summer work inspired my Biotech project “Image Processing Techniques for the Analysis of Ultrasound Stimulated Bubble Interactions with Fibrin Clots”, which led me to secure the 1st place spot at the GTA regionals and 3rd place nationally. I look forward to a future in the field of medical biophysics.
The study utilized image processing techniques to aid in the analysis of experimental data of the interactions between individual USMBs and fibrin clots in order to guide the development of sonothrombolysis contrast agents and specific pulsing schemes. Methods of determining pore size of fibrous networks and bubble velocity were developed.
What motivated you to participate in SBC? Did anyone encourage you?
I decided to participate in the SBCC after hearing other students at my school discuss their challenging yet rewarding experience with the competition. My teacher, Meg O’Mahony encouraged me to participate after hearing about my project.
Where did your project idea come from?
My project idea developed through collaboration with my mentor PhD candidate Chris Acconcia over the summer at Sunnybrook Research Institute. While working with Chris over the summer, he introduced me to the problems facing image processing in the field of sonothrombolysis, problems which I sought to remediate with my project.
What about your work might be of interest to other teens or impact their everyday life?
With data flooding our everyday lives, it is becoming more important than ever to find ways to filter and analyze the most pertinent information. A picture is worth a thousand words, and translating experimental images into quantitative data is a challenging pursuit.
What was your favourite part of the experience? Was there anything you found especially challenging?
My favorite part of the experience was developing the image processing techniques. I enjoyed the freedom and challenge, especially the triumphant “aha!” moment that came with success.
What would be your advice for other youth considering participation in SBC?
I would advise other youth considering participation in SBCC to begin early, look through their local research library for possible topics. There is so much left to discover! It is important to be thoroughly interested in your topic, which will keep you motivated in the long months leading up to the competition.