ATS 2010, NEW ORLEANS You expect to find leading experts in the fields of pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine presenting their research at the annual ATS International Conferencephysicians and professors, basic scientists, fellows and post-docs, certainly. High school students? Not so much.
But this year, Wynton Kun, who turned 18 in April and will graduate from high school on May 28, will be presenting his original research on the medical necessity and cost effectiveness of repeated chest x-rays in children who are dependent on home mechanical ventilation (HMV). He will present his data at a thematic poster session on May 17 from 8:15 to 4:00.
A couple of years ago, Wynton did not fit the profile of the precocious young researcher who would be presenting the findings of his scientific investigation at the American Thoracic Society's annual meeting. "To be honest, I used to be one of those kids who played video games all day," he said.
But then he had an epiphany that he had to get off the couch and do something with his life, he explained. It did not take much prodding to get his mother, Sheila Kun, a pulmonary registered nurse at Children's Hospital Los Angeles to agree to help.
When he told her he was interested in her field of expertise, she turned to her mentor, Thomas G. Keens, M.D., a well-known pediatric pulmonologist at Children's Hospital Los Angeles, for help. "Can we think of a research project that will help kill time in the summer for Wynton?" she asked. Dr. Keens, who is also professor of pediatrics, physiology and biophysics at the University of Southern California's Keck School of Medicine, was happy to assist.
And so, between his sophomore and junior year, Wynton put the video games aside and instead began working with Dr. Keens on developing his own research project. "Dr. Keens showed me a whole new worldhe told me to go out every day and do something useful," said Wynton. "He drove me to
|Contact: Keely Savoie|
American Thoracic Society