Neil Davey, at his lab

WASHINGTON D.C. (Diya TV) — Neil Davey, an Indian-American sophomore at Harvard University, has been invited to the White House Science Fair to showcase a cancer diagnosis invention that could represent a major breakthrough in the field of medical science.

He will present a device he helped to develop, a drop-based microfluidics platform for the early diagnosis and treatment of various types of cancers. Davey helped to develop the platform at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, in collaboration with researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital. The event will be held on April 13.

The device employs DNA amplification techniques to specifically target a wide range of cancer genes and detect circulating cancer cells from the bloodstream, Davey said. Given the “invasive nature of traditional tumor biopsies, the holy grail of cancer diagnosis is to detect cancer cells directly from the bloodstream through a ‘liquid biopsy.’” Because “cancer cells are incredibly rare and heterogenous in the blood,” it is a huge challenge “addressing this demand,” he said.

He is studying applied mathematics and economics on a pre-medical track, and has been developing this cancer detection project since his junior year of high school.

This science fair, the sixth such hosted by President Obama since assuming office in 2008, will feature students who are tackling some of the nation’s “greatest challenges, from combating climate change to uncovering new ways to fight cancer to discovering ways to reach farther beyond our atmosphere as part of the Mars generation,” the White House said in a statement.