New York Teen Discovers Biomarker for Identifying Individuals at Risk of Suicide

Teens of New York Uncover Groundbreaking Biomarker for Suicide Risk Assessment

Natasha Kulviwat’s examination of brain tissue from suicide victims reveals a notable rise in a protein biomarker.

By Jim Fields
March 13, 2024

This video is a part of our ongoing STEM Superstars series. Explore the stories of more young innovators here.

Displaying an early passion for neuroscience and mental health, Natasha Kulviwat observed the sluggish progress in mental health advancements within neuroscience.

Driven by this observation, the 17-year-old student from Jericho High School in New York set out on a quest to uncover a biomarker associated with suicide, aiming to leverage neuroscience for early identification of individuals at risk.

Upon scrutinizing the brain tissue of suicide victims, Kulviwat detected a marked elevation in a protein biomarker specific to the deceased individuals. These biomarkers can also reveal genetic susceptibilities contributing to suicidal tendencies.

Thus, by identifying surges in protein biomarkers alongside self-reported assessments, pathologists could potentially bolster future suicide prevention efforts.

Reflecting on her research, Kulviwat expressed hope that her findings would play a pivotal role in revolutionizing the diagnostic landscape for suicide prevention.

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