Muna Oli is working with cancer cells at the University of Florida's McKnight Brain Institute, and she's been in the lab since Dr. Brent Reynolds started his research here two years ago.
Dr. Reynolds recalls the first time he met Oli, a young 15-year-old who came knocking on his office door, "...and she says, i have these nano particles, and I want to work in your lab to use them to target and to kill cancer cells."
"I wanted to come up with a way where you can really treat the cancer," said Oli, "but only treat the cancer, keeping the surrounding cancer tissue happy and healthy."
Oli is now 17-years-old and this summer, she's spent about 50-hours a week in the lab, researching cancer cells.
"The types of things we do day in and day out are very repetitve, and they're not a lot of fun, it's not very flashy," said Dr. Reynolds.
Oli says she's following her heart, working for the people she loves.
"I've had a lot of our friends that have been diagnosed with cancer come up to me, say you know, when is your treatment going to be ready, can you treat me with your gold nano rods?"
Next week Oli starts her senior year of high school, but she's not hanging up her lab coat just yet, Oli says shes taking two classes at UF, and she'll be continuing her research in these labs.
"I'm not saying I'm going to find a cure to cancer, but I think trying is all you can do," said Oli.
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