20-year-old scientist inspires with her innovative medical technology

Kavya Kopparapu is a 20-year-old scientist and founder of the Girls Computing League

As a changemaker, Kopparapu is inventing new technologies in the medical field with artificial intelligence and bringing computer science to girls around the world.

Growing up, Kopparapu didn’t imagine herself in the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) field, but after seeing a lecture at a local university by female computer scientists, she knew it would be a way to impact the world. 

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At 17 years old, Kopparapu invented Eyeagnosis, a device that connects to your smartphone that can take a photo of your retina. It uses an artificial intelligence algorithm that processes the image and provides a diagnosis for diabetic retinopathy. 

“The Eyeagnois project is tackling diabetic retinopathy, which is a symptom of diabetes that affects the retina which is like the back layer of your eye that actually does a lot of the photo recognition in the way that we perceive the world,” Kopparapu explained. 

In 2019, Kopparapu was awarded the patent for GlioVision, a device that can rapidly determine the molecular and genetic features of tumors caused by glioblastoma, an aggressive brain cancer.

“It really started after going to a science and tech high school and seeing even in such a resource-rich environment there were very few girls who continued in computer science classes passed the required amount,” Kopparapu explained.

Because of the lack of women in her classes, Kopparapu founded the Girls Computing League. 

The league started with Kopparapu and her friends teaching in local high schools. Now the program is in 15 states in the U.S. and in Japan. Girls Computing League hopes to be working with 1000 educational partners by the end of the year. 

“To be a changemaker means to leave the world a better place than when you came into it,” Kopparapu said. “I think being a changemaker means making a path and making sure that path is well-protected.” 

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