2010 - Christina Fan
Soon, expectant mothers may have a less-invasive and less-risky way to test their babies for Down Syndrome. Christina Fan has developed a revolutionary testing method that utilizes a blood sample from the mother rather than inserting a needle into the mother’s womb. Time magazine ranked Christina’s new method as one of the Top 10 Medical Breakthroughs of 2008. The new discovery stemmed from Christina’s Ph.D. thesis, in which she proved that it was possible to identify fetus DNA from its mother’s blood. Christina’s Down Syndrome test is now being commercialized and may hit the market as early as 2011.
Christina has always been interested in medicine, coming from a family of doctors, but prefers working behind the scenes developing diagnostic tools that assist doctors in helping their patients. After she completes her Ph.D. in Bioengineering at Stanford, she’ll continue to work to develop innovative treatments to both help patients and doctors.
Christina also holds a Master’s degree in Bioengineering from Stanford University, and a Bachelor’s degree in Bioengineering from Columbia University. During her sophomore year at Columbia, she had the unique opportunity to study Earth Sciences at the Biodome in Arizona. She’s also a world traveler, having visited all seven continents, and is an orchestral flautist and pianist.