Kimbal Musk, brother of Elon the CEO of Tesla, is entrepreneur and restaurateur. (WFYI News)
Farm-to-table restaurateur Kimbal Musk, brother of Tesla founder Elon Musk, is a quarter of the way to his goal of establishing 100 “learning gardens” at Indianapolis schools to fight obesity and related health threats.
“Today, kids see food either as coming from a McDonald’s box or out of plastic wrap,” Musk says. “They have no idea that it actually comes out of the ground. And by exposing kids to the growing of a carrot, and all they see is a little green sprout – and when they pull a carrot out – it’s like a magic trick,” he smiles.
(Leigh DeNoon/WFYI News)
In an IU School of Medicine pathology lab, Shortridge High School student Isaac Carrera Ochoa is at a microscope looking for specific cancer biomarkers to be used in immunotherapy cancer treatment. Ochoa is searching for a biomarker called VISTA.
“I have studied 19 cases and only two seemed positive,” Ochoa says.
Professor Dr. George Sandusky, Ochoa’s mentor, says the work of these high schoolers is having a tangible impact on patient lives.
“We’re right on the cutting edge here because several people do get immunotherapy when they come from regional and outlying hospitals,” Sandusky says.
Sandusky says immunotherapy uses the patient’s own body to fight the cancer instead of radiation and chemotherapy – though immunotherapy may be used in tandem with the other treatments.
He says this kind of hands-on experience has a lasting impact on the students. Sandusky recently learned a participant from several years ago is now at the IU School of Medicine.
Ochoa says his cancer research this summer is especially meaningful because he has a relative being treated for breast cancer.