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Kamehameha Schools was founded by the will of Bernice Pauahi Bishop, the great-granddaughter of Kamehameha the Great.

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HomeI MUA Newsroom Kapālama senior earns top spot at district science fair and trip to national competition
KSK senior Tojo Abella won first place at the HAIS district fair and will compete at the Intel Science and Engineering Fair in Pittsburgh.
Kapālama senior earns top spot at district science fair and trip to national competition

Kamehameha Schools Kapālama senior Terric “Tojo” Abella recently won first place honors at the Hawaiʻi Association of Independent Schools (HAIS) District Science Fair. His project was on the “Synergistic Relationship of Withaferin A and Cisplatin in the Treatment of Triple-Negative Breast Cancer.”

Along with the top local honor, Abella won an all-expense paid trip to compete at the Intel Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. ISEF is the premier science competition for high school students in the world, with over 1800 students from more than 75 countries competing.

Abella is a standout science student and received a prestigious internship at the University of Pittsburgh Hillman Cancer Center this past summer where he did his award-winning research.

In addition to Tojo, KSK junior Aslan Cook won third place overall with her project “Hawai‘i Poison Dart Frog Skin Secretions Inhibit Myeloma Cancer Cell Growth.”

Cook, juniors Tobias-Jesiah Keohokapu and Jake Uyechi, and seniors Elijah Mossman and Anuhea Parker all received agency awards for their research. All Honors Science Research students have advanced to the State Science Fair competition (March 28-30) at the Hawaiʻi State Convention Center. Public visitation is on March 30 from 9 – 10 a.m.

Mahalo to KSK science teacher Gail Ishimoto, who was Tojo’s kumu throughout the four years heʻs been a student at KSK (honors biology in Grade 9, Kamehameha Summer Science Institute in Molecular and Cell Biology during the summer before his sophomore year, and honors science research Grades 10, 11, 12), for sharing the photo and information for this story.  

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