Teen tackles major health issues

Krish Wadhwani, 17, has won recognition for founding a nonprofit that conducts medical research.

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Krish Wadhwani, 17, has won recognition for founding a nonprofit that conducts medical research.

Krish Wadhwani has more on his mind than finishing his senior year at Denmark High in Alpharetta. He’s also fighting disease through a nonprofit he founded two years ago.

HD Solvera grew out of the 17-year-old’s fascination with medicine and illness.

“I’ve always been asking ‘why’,” he said. “And I’ve witnessed many family members go through medical complications and battle diseases.”

Wadhwani launched the organization to conduct and support biomedical research, assist health care centers and raise money for hospitals. He leads research operations with the help of five Ph.D.’s on the board of directors, intern teams across the Southeast and volunteers who work with care groups and hospital patients. He also has the support of partners such as Georgia State University, Johnson & Johnson and 3M.

“I lead the initiatives and present the work at conferences,” said Wadhwani. “The partners provide mentors and facilitate my research. And sometimes they help with equipment that, as a high schooler, I may not have access to it.”

Wadhwani’s research investigates potential therapies and tests them on a computational scale – part of the emerging field of bioinformatics. “From that we can identify studies worth pursuing on a molecular scale or laboratory scale,” he said.

One of the nonprofit’s primary studies has focused on synthetic molecules, a work that took top honors in the U.S. Southeast Division High School Competition sponsored by the International Therapeutics Summit 2021. The research explored the use of synthetic antibodies to target proteins in Parkinson’s, Huntington’s and Alzheimer’s diseases.

“I focused on drug delivery and dementia because a lot of my family has experienced that,” he said.

A global conference on mental health introduced Wadhwani to Haman Pong, a bioscientist at Environmental Systems, Inc. who took an interest in his work.

“Krish is an astounding young man who has achieved plenty in the field of STEM at an early age,” said Pong. “He has always said he is most interested in STEM because it provides him with a platform to revolutionize the world.”

Wadhwani plans to continue his work as he moves onto college, though just which college he’ll attend is still to be decided.

“I know I’m going to major in something related to biomedical engineering or health,” he said. “That goes along with what we’re doing at HD, and I will continue the organization as a college student.”

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