In addition to the Mensa foyer and the seminar rooms on the bistro level being the venue of the event days, those guests visiting the Mensa during the Turkish week will also be treated to some fine Turkish specialities. What can't Andrew Ninh do?In addition to publishing original research on bioinformatics, designing the first human rhinovirus database to aid in searching for a common cold vaccine and winning countless awards, Andrew Ninh also is an expert entomologist.
When he comes home from school, he'll scour the Internet for the latest publications on bioinformatics.
While his parents have always supported his academic and extracurricular activities, Ninh's father didn't know his son was so invested in bioinformatics until he Google-searched his son's name and came across Ninh's publication in the Journal of Experimental Secondary Science.
Fountain Valley High School senior Andrew Ninh hasn't even packed his bags for college yet and he already is working toward a cure for the common cold. Ninh, who will attend Baylor University in Texas in the fall, recently won the Karen Cooper Memorial scholarship from OC Mensa, an organization that rewards local academic successes.
In particular, he focuses on his love for bioinformatics, or using computers to collect, store and manipulate biological information.


During an AP environmental science class last year, the topic of cicadas came up – those clamorous insects that emerge from the ground every few years. His fascination with bioinformatics began his sophomore year of high school in a computer science class. Ninh devoured online lectures from universities and looked for books to familiarize himself with writing code to document and manipulate genetic information, he said.
His mom, Tammy Tran, began to realize Ninh's passion for bioinformatics research when he started asking for rides to science fairs and lectures at local universities.
He attributes his productivity to his ability to multi-task – sometimes he watches TV while doing his research, he said. Ninh's essay for the Mensa scholarship lists a long trail of complex accomplishments achieved during his high school career. The field is becoming increasingly important, particularly as scientists learn more about the human genome, Ninh said.


Having effective databases to store all that research will keep it organized and help medical professionals better share information, especially about new knowledge on genetic disabilities, he added.
Ninh is mostly self-taught, with a knack for retaining information that he independently pursues. Ninh is attending the Wolfram Summer School in Boston to work on another research project and listen to some lectures.
He also will be presenting a poster at the ninth International Society for Computational Biology Student Council Symposium 2013 in Berlin.



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