Kavya Kopparapu is an extraordinary young lady with achievements for several lifetimes. Her work stems from a desire to be of service to others and it is transforming as well as saving lives. You can call her a change-maker, an innovator, or a social entrepreneur. We call her a badass. She gets.it.done.
When she was a student in an AP computing class, Kavya noticed there were only 5 girls including herself in a class of 30. Her practical solution to diversity in a typically male-dominated field of AI and computer science is to create a non-profit called Girls Computing League. The organisation provides access to computing knowledge for students from minority and unprivileged backgrounds. The girls are encouraged to think critically – and practically – about AI and how it can be used to solve global human challenges. Now in 17 US states (and rapidly expanding internationally), GCL has a mission to support 1,000 low-income educational institutions through workshops and funding.
Kavya has led by example with the creation of Gliovision – a medical platform created using artificial intelligence to help spot mutations in brain tumours with a claimed 100 percent accuracy.
What spurred Kavya to create this breakthrough was reading about the late Sen. John McCain, who was battling glioblastoma, a very aggressive brain cancer. Despite all the progression and innovation in modern medicine, imaging technology, surgical techniques and general understanding of cancer, the survival rate for this disease had not improved over the last 30 years.
Gliovision effectively replaces genetic and molecular testing through using artificial intelligence algorithms. This approach dramatically cuts down diagnosis times to only 5 seconds (at no additional cost) from what was taking weeks and months – ensuring quicker access to treatment, as well as freeing up hospital time and resources too.
Creating a platform that transforms the way we treat brain tumour is a remarkable feat for anyone, let alone a teenager. Kavya was named TIME magazine’s most influential teen, WebMD’s health heroes award, Regeneron Science Talent Search Finalist, and the 2018 US Presidential Scholar. From education to healthcare, she has made tremendous impact through humility and urgency.
At Citizen Good we’ve been blown away by Kavya’s achievements and so had to ask her having achieved so much at such a young age, what are you most excited to take on or achieve next?
“I’m most excited to continue to be my own boss and follow projects that I’m most interested in after graduation. Harvard has really given me the technical and communication skills to succeed and I’m excited to work on challenging problems and continue to bring them visibility and get more people excited about working on them! The digital health space is only just beginning and I’m excited to be a part of it going forward”.
We stand in awe of you, Kavya and with hope for the future.