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This Cancer Detective is Changing the World

Values, CompanyNita Rao, Gap Inc. bloggerComment

You don’t have to be born with a beaker to change things.

Scientists tells us what the color white smells like, how to pack a suitcase, and
about phases of the moon.

How do they do it? By gathering data, looking for patterns, connecting dots, testing predictions. Are inventors and discoverers naturally brilliant or just lucky?

Neither, says Brittany Wenger: “‘You don’t have to be born with a beaker to change the world,” she points out. “You don’t have to be some whiz kid.”

Reasons to stop and listen: Brittany taught herself to code at 13, and then started building artificial “neural networks” (designed to mimic the way human brains learn).

She was a high school sophomore when her cousin was diagnosed with breast cancer.

Brittany spent the next two years creating Cloud4Cancer - an artificial intelligence breast cancer detection tool built to help doctors detect malignancies using less invasive forms of biopsy.

She was 17 when the app debuted.

Cloud4Cancer correctly identifies 99 percent of malignant tumors. Brittany ran 7.6 million trials– and spent over 600 hours coding– to get there. She current studies at Duke University.

“The neat thing about science,” she says, “is that you learn just as much from those flopped experiments as you do from your successful ones.”

Learn more about Brittany and Gap’s One Stitch Closer program.