High School Senior Manasvi Pinnaka Works to Improve Cystic Fibrosis Research through AI and Her Nonprofit
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. /California Newswire/ — Manasvi Pinnaka is a senior at BASIS Independent Silicon Valley in San Jose, CA. She’s also the founder and CEO of Nysha.ai, a nationally-recognized nonprofit organization committed to raising awareness for cystic fibrosis.
For the past few years, Pinnaka has worked on numerous projects at the intersection of AI/ML and healthcare, including the detection of disease severity in cystic fibrosis patients using the lung microbiome. Ultimately, with Nysha.ai, she enjoys sharing her passion for biotechnology research while working to improve the standard of care for those with cystic fibrosis.
Pinnaka’s goals are to create awareness about this disease in all races and ethnicities while empowering and educating students to explore the world of AI research to advance the finding of a cure for the disease. She’s committed to fostering a passion for technology and innovation among young minds.
The nonprofit’s advisory board includes Dr. Carlos Milla, professor at Stanford University; Dr. Beate Illek, professor at UCSF; and Dr. Jonathan Widdicombe, emeritus professor at UC Davis. Since its founding, Nysha has organized various research projects, including AI research and literature reviews, relating to cystic fibrosis and its complications with ongoing support from this board and from medical/engineering students. It’s also offered more than $200,000 worth of in-kind mentorship services.
“Our volunteers are at the heart of all we do and we’re committed to expanding nationally and internationally,” Pinnaka says. “We’re creating new chapters and working to grow every day.”
At Nysha.ai, volunteers have the opportunity to organize presentations at various venues in their communities to raise awareness for cystic fibrosis. These presentations have reached more than 52,000 community members and have raised more than $27,000.
Other initiatives include partnerships with libraries across the world to distribute information about cystic fibrosis to visiting children and their families.
“Our volunteers have also made it possible to bring awareness to schools in their area and some have even started their own clubs that focus on awareness for rare diseases like cystic fibrosis,” Pinnaka explains. “It’s an exciting time.”
Most recently, Pinnaka led Nysha’s volunteers in cultivating the next generation of AI technologists, innovators and leaders at a one-day conference – the Youth AI Summit at Capital One Hall. More than 300 high school students, mostly from underrepresented backgrounds, attended and had unique opportunities to engage with AI experts from various fields. There was even a chance to enter into an AI Ideathon pitch competition.
The summit included notable speakers such as Christos Makridis, an economic advisor of the White House; Steven Wellner, associate judge superior court of the District of Columbia; and Dominic Delmolino, vice president of Amazon Web Services. Nysha.ai also delivered speakers such as Dr. Tushar Desai, a professor at Stanford University; and Dr. Steven Jonas, an associate professor at UCLA, to talk about the latest advancements in cystic fibrosis research.
“My primary goals are to encourage testing for cystic fibrosis in underdiagnosed communities, to encourage STEM education among today’s youth and to ultimately help to further research projects focused on finding a cure for the disease,” Pinnaka says. “To do this, we need to continue to grow our volunteer base.”
Interested volunteers can learn more here: https://nysha.ai/
Learn More: https://nysha.ai/
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