Harvard, Meet Marshall Zhang

Marshall Zhang is not your average high school student. In April 2012 ORION named the Bayview Secondary School and International Baccalaureate student the winner of the 2012 ORION Leadership Award in the K-12 Category. Marshall’s groundbreaking cystic fibrosis research has earned him national and international praise and accolades, including winning the prestigious 2011 Sanofi-Aventis BioTalent Challenge.

By providing access to the world’s fastest research and education network, recognizing youth achievement and showcasing opportunities, ORION opens an incredible number of doors for students like me all across Ontario.

– Marshall Zhang, 2012 ORION Leadership award winner

Marshall discovered a new combination of medications that could be used to treat cystic fibrosis. Using the SciNet High Performance Computing (HPC) Platform on ORION’s ultra-fast Research & Education network, he was able to conduct the necessary trials to determine whether the compounds he had identified could help repair the defective proteins that cause the disease.

Since his win, Marshall has been busy. He was named one of Maclean’s Future Leaders of Tomorrow (a list of 15 Canadians under 25) as well as one of Canada’s Top 20 under 20. He attended the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, where he received a Third Place Grand Award and recently spoke at the National Youth Leadership Forum in Medicine in Washington, D.C. On top of all that, after invitations to Harvard, Yale, and Princeton – and much deliberation – Marshall decided to accept his place as a member of Harvard’s graduating Class of 2016.

Marshall is looking forward to meeting some of the brightest kids from around the world and sharing ideas that “just don’t exist in the suburbia of Richmond Hill,” learning from professors who have “literally written the textbook,” studying in fields he never considered looking at, and thinking about things that he’s “never really thought about before.”

Marshall is an incredible inspiration to young researchers everywhere and ORION is delighted to have helped support his progress and research. We’ll be watching to see where his trajectory takes him.