Old Greenwich Teen is Davidson Fellows Scholarship Winner


Hiba Hussain

The Davidson Institute for Talent Development has announced the 2019 Davidson Fellows Scholarship winners. Among the honorees is 16-year-old Hiba Hussain of Old Greenwich. Hussain won a $10,000 scholarship for her project, Non-Invasive, Low-Cost Diagnosis of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease via Smartphone Breath Analysis. She is one of only 20 students across the country to be recognized as a scholarship winner.

“I am extremely grateful to be named a Davidson Fellow,” said Hussain. “With this scholarship, I wish to continue my research in hopes of benefitting my community in the future.”

Hussain’s system uses Near Field Communication technology (that is most notably used in Apple Pay) in conjunction with a smartphone application to detect COPD breath biomarkers. The application is able to provide results in a matter of minutes, costs less than $2 and utilizes existing technologies to find a better solution for COPD disease detection. Her work could help diagnose COPD rapidly and effectively, before the condition transforms into a more severe illness like lung cancer. Her application also has potential uses in developing or underdeveloped countries where sophisticated medical equipment is unavailable or extremely expensive.

Hussain will start her senior year of high school at Greenwich High School in the fall, after which, she hopes to pursue a medical degree and be heavily involved in medical research. Outside of science, Hussain loves spending time with her family, playing board games with her younger siblings and is an avid Disney fan.

“We are proud to announce the 2019 Davidson Fellows Scholarship recipients and applaud them for their hard work and achievement in their fields of study,” said Bob Davidson, founder of the Davidson Institute. “By being awarded this recognition, these students have shown immense skill and work ethic, and they should be commended as they continue their educational and research journeys while continuing to work to solve some of the world’s most vexing problems.”

The 2019 Davidson Fellows will be honored at a reception in Washington, D.C., on Friday, September 27, 2019.

The Davidson Fellows Scholarship program offers $50,000, $25,000 and $10,000 college scholarships to students 18 or younger, who have completed significant projects that have the potential to benefit society in the fields of science, technology, engineering, mathematics, literature and music. The Davidson Fellows Scholarship has provided more than $7.5 million in scholarship funds to more than 300 students since its inception in 2001, and has been named one of the most prestigious undergraduate scholarships by U.S. News & World Report. It is a program of the Davidson Institute for Talent Development, a national nonprofit organization headquartered in Reno, Nev. that supports profoundly gifted youth.

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