Aakash Jain, a senior at Brophy College Preparatory (photo courtesy of Brophy)
Aakash Jain, a senior at Brophy College Preparatory (photo courtesy of Brophy)

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) awarded second place distinction to Aakash Jain, a senior who graduates from Brophy College Preparatory today. Jain earned his award during last week’s Intel International Science and Engineering Fair.

His project, Computational Analysis of the GABA(A) Receptor, used computational and statistical techniques to provide insight into the three-dimensional structure of the GABA(A) receptor – which is believed to be involved in various disease conditions such as depression, schizophrenia, Parkinson’s disease, and addiction.

After developing his model, Jain then screened approximately 2,500 drugs to determine if their structure would be a tight fit for the GABA(A) receptor. Jain identified several compounds that deserved further research into their possible clinical applications.

This year approximately 1,700 students from 70 countries, regions and territories participated in the Intel Science and Engineering Fair competition, coordinated by the Society for Science and the Public. The nonprofit organization partners with Intel — along with dozens of other corporate, academic, government and science-focused sponsors — to provide support and awards each year.

Addiction Science Winners receive cash awards provided by Friends of NIDA. Jain received a $1,500 scholarship. NIDA’s special section on its website may not load correctly, but winning projects should be highlighted. Visitors can also find other resources on addiction science.