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Hungarian high school student publishes in an American paper

2015. June 29.

The first scientific publication of Áron Perez-Lopez, a Hungarian secondary school student was published by Scientific Reports, an American periodical of the Nature publishing group.

Scinetific Reports is one of the highest ranked open access scientific journal on the Internet. According to the 2013 Journal Citation Reports based on its impact factor the electronic paper is ranked fifth among the multidisciplinary scientific publications. The editorial board of the journal publishing papers in the fields of natural and medical sciences is composed of excellent scientists setting high requirements to be met by the submitted articles.
It is a special news that the article was published under the names of the authors Áron Perez-Lopez, Kristóf Z. Szalay, Dénes Türei, Dezső Módos, Katalin Lenti, Tamás Korcsmáros and Péter Csermely in mid-May. Regarding the paper Prof. Péter Csermely, member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, President of the National Talent Support Council said that according to the general rules of the Semmelweis Medical University Áron Perez-Lopez, student of the High School Apáczai Csere János as first author of that publication would be entitled to a PhD if he were already graduated.

The authors wanted to find ways to develop drugs with less side-effects using networking methods. It is made possible by the fact that in human cells proteins work in networks, i.e. by the dropping out of one of them will result in decreased operational features of its neighbours being in interaction with it. So when a certain drug is used to inhibit a protein that causes a disease it also influences several other ones that may result in serious side effects in the case when several proteins drop out. There is a real danger as those proteins that may cause diseases are centrally located in the network. In the same time the effect can be utilized to attack one of the “neighbours” of the ill protein achieving the aim in an indirect way.

In their research the authors created a model of that effects using networking methods. The target proteins of several well-known drugs regarding the influence of their drop-out to other parts of the network, and searched the relation between that factor and the side-effects of the medicines. The findings show that target molecules spread the effects through the network.

Áron Perez-Lopez started his scientific career at his age of 14 when he wrote a letter to Prof. Péter Csermely who invited him to his research group at the Semmelweis University. Now he is working on his next publication and takes part in some activities in DZZOM, a startup lead by Albert-László Barabási.