|Marshall Zhang Wins $2500 Shad Valley Scholarship
Drive and determination. Those two words describe Marshall Zhang’s approach to making Shad Valley school presentations, as well as his attitude towards life. His goal was to tell as many other students as possible about the Shad Valley program so that they could experience it for themselves. The result? An impressive 15 students listed Marshall’s name as a referral on their Shad Valley application.
Each year, Shad Valley alumni are asked to spread the word about the program so that more and more high-potential students have the opportunity to apply. When alumni make a presentation or have their name as a referral on a Shad Valley application form, they are considered for the scholarship. The award is $2500 towards the winner’s first-year university tuition. Marshall’s name was picked from a list of more than 150 alumni and he is receiving these funds for any university of his choosing.
Shad Valley had another significant impact on Marshall this past year. At the program (Memorial 2010), he met fellow Shad Adarsh Gupta who shared an interest in scientific research. Adarsh suggested that Marshall find a mentor to guide him into more concentrated study. In Grade 11, Marshall was spurred into action.
Marshall had been studying biology at school and enjoyed the chemistry side of the specialty. To find a mentor in this area, he went to the University of Toronto Faculty of Biochemistry. Of his own accord, he contacted almost every professor in that department one-by-one, asking to get involved in research. No one responded.
Then, at the last minute, the final professor he was in touch with showed interest. She was Dr. Christine Bear, also a senior researcher of cystic fibrosis at SickKids Hospital. With Dr. Bear’s direction, Marshall began performing computational simulations to find effective therapies for the disease at a molecular level. This research lead to him winning first place in the regional Sanofi-Aventis BioTalent Challenge, where he then went on to win at Nationals. His amazing story of accomplishment has been splashed across the media. Still in high school, this is only the beginning for Marshall Zhang.
See some of his media coverage below.