Science student sets sights on developing Cystic Fibrosis treatment

Head of Chemistry Andy Probert with Monks Walk Chemistry student Kailash Ramlaul who is in the final

Head of Chemistry Andy Probert with Monks Walk Chemistry student Kailash Ramlaul who is in the finals for National Science Award - Credit: Archant

A Welwyn Garden City schoolboy hopes to improve the lives of people suffering from a life-shortening disease after catching the eye of judges of a national award.

Kailash Ramlaul, a pupil at Monk’s Walk School, secured his place in the final of the National Science and Engineering competition for his Cystic Fibrosis research.

The 17-year-old, who has been offered a place at Oxford University, will be presenting his work to more than 60,000 people at an event in March.

He told the WHT: “I knew from a very young age that I wanted to be a scientist and thought I wanted to go into medicine.

“But then I looked into bio-chemistry and I was more interested in that because I could look into cures and be able to help people.”

Kailash has been investigating a bacteria that affects one in 10 people suffering with the disease, which weakens the immune system.

He hopes looking at the effects of the bacteria could help create drugs to improve a person’s quality of life.

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Kailash will present his findings to more than 60,000 people at The Big Bang Fair in March – while also trying to impress the judges.

But even though the A-Level student is daunted by the prospect, he hopes it will help boost his public speaking skills.

He said: “It will be a good opportunity to practice talking in front of large crowds and I am really looking forward to it.”

Kailash, of Mill Green Road, WGC, entered the national award after he completed a summer placement at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), in Stevenage.

The competition is open for students between the ages of 11 to 18.

Andy Probert, the school’s head of chemistry, said: “Kailash has done some fantastic work and we are all incredibly proud of him.

“He is a wonderful role model for our other pupils and not just in the science class room.”

There are 30 prizes up for grabs worth around £50,000, as well as the titles of UK Young Engineer and Young Scientist of the Year for the taking.

Headteacher Kate Smith said: “We are very happy and proud to see another student reach the final for The Big Bang.”

Schools and families across WGC will be able to register for free tickets to The Big Bang Fair, which runs from March 14 to 17, in London, at