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LASA Student Awarded 2018 Texas Health Rising Star

Liberal Arts Science Academy student Sruthi Ilangovan, 16, will be awarded the 2018 Texas Health Rising Star award at the Texas Health Champion Award Ceremony tonight.

Each year, the Rising Star Award is presented to young Texans who have demonstrated exceptional leadership in their community in an effort to raise awareness and reduce the burden of obesity.

Sruthi is the president of the Health Through Science Initiative at LASA.The mission of HTS is to reduce obesity rates and eradicate all preventable illnesses.

She presents at community health fairs, creates health science awards for the Austin Energy Regional Science Fair to incentivize health science research and hosts citywide medical lectures to educate the population about preventable diseases.

Sruthi has attended more than 50 health fairs at elementary schools in the past year, which comes to more than 200 hours of talking about healthy living and promoting health awareness.

She has also conducted her own research about one of the less commonly known causes of obesity, Lactate Dehydrogenase Deficiency.

LDD is a condition that affects how the body breaks down sugar to use as energy in cells, primarily muscle cells. The aim of Sruthi’s investigation was to discover how scientists separate a singular protein from animal tissue in order to analyze it. You can find her research and how that relates to obesity here.

Sruthi has set a goal for HTS for the following year to expand school visits to other schools districts in Texas. Additionally, she said she hopes to expand the medical lectures to statewide conferences with a series of obesity-focused lectures, involving obesity specialists from all over the state.

Apart from HTS, Sruthi plans on pursuing research in obesity prevention by further investigating less known causes of obesity, similar to her research about LDD.

After high school, she said she plans to pursue medicine and medical research and hopes to also become a doctor who specializes in obesity prevention.

For more information about the ceremony, please visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/11th-annual-texas-health-champion-award-ceremony-tickets-48698584778.

Texas Obesity Awareness Week, including the Texas Health Champion Award Ceremony, was established in the 80th Legislative Session in 2007 by House Bill 2313 and is designated to occur in the second week of September each year.