Davidson Institute for Talent Development
Poux, a cancer survivor, began developing his project with a goal to help those battling cancer. His project, which he calls Skittles, is a genetic construct that labels and tracks cells by using colors. A cell possessing Skittles is randomly assigned one of 25 color combinations, which would allow that cell and any cell divided from it to be tracked based on its assigned color. This is a noteworthy breakthrough since current tools only allow cells to be labeled with three or four colors. By increasing the number of colors used, Skittles opens the possibility of investigating much more complicated systems, with the possibility of new studies in stem cell biology in particular.Poux was diagnosed with leukemia at the age of six, and after battling cancer for seven years, he was inspired to help others facing life threatening ailments. He took a keen interest in stem cell biology, as it is the very science that saved his life in 2011 with a cord-blood transplant. Along with his medical contributions, Poux also volunteers for HopeLab Foundation, a nonprofit that develops therapeutic videogames for pediatric cancer patients.When he’s not working on cancer-related projects, Poux enjoys hiking and biking around the foothills of Palo Alto. He also plays bassoon, piano and is teaching himself guitar. Poux will attend Stanford University in the fall, where he will study biology.