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Wed, Dec 10
This Duke student built an artificial brain that detects breast cancer
Brittany Wenger is one seriously smart cookie. In 2012, the then-17-year-old submitted her “artificial brain” technology — which assesses tissue samples for breast cancer — to the Google Science Fair and walked away with the grand prize. It was no wonder: Her invention, which uses a type of computer program called neural networks, can identify complex data patterns and make breast cancer detection calls with 99 percent accuracy. But she’s not stopping there: Brittany hopes to help wipe out cancer completely.
Since she took home the gold two years ago, she’s been named one of Time’s 30 Under 30, given a truly inspiring TED Talk, and launched her app, Cloud4Cancer, which allows doctors to enter their own data and fuel continued cancer research. And did we mention she’s also holding down a full course load at Duke University? Um, yeah.
We recently chatted with Brittany about how she got started, her challenges along the way, and how she balances being a college student with breaking the barriers of cancer diagnostics.