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1.25.2011

high school student and trauma surgeon among first lady's guests at state of the union address

As you might be aware, tonight is President Obama's annual State of the Union address to Congress. 6:00pm Pacific/9:00pm Eastern. According to political thinkers, he'll likely be focusing on jobs, innovation and cooperation.

I mention it here because it's worth nothing that First Lady Michelle Obama will be hosting several special guests in her box during the address: Guest List for the First Lady's Box at the State of the Union Address.

The guests include 16-year-old Amy Chyao, a high school junior from Richardson, Texas, and Dr. Peter Rhee, the trauma surgeon who oversaw the medical care associated with the shooting tragedy in Tuscon. Here's more on info them, according to the White House press release:
Amy Chyao (Richardson, TX)
Amy, a sixteen-year-old high school junior from Richardson, Texas, has developed a photosensitizer for photodynamic therapy (PDT), an emerging cancer treatment which uses light energy to activate a drug that kills cancer cells. After her freshman year biology class, Amy became interested in cancer research and came up with an idea for improving the way medicine is designed. So over her summer vacation she taught herself some basic chemistry and began her research. With her work, Amy won the first place Gordon E. Moore Award at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, a program of Society for Science & the Public, in May 2010. Since taking home the top prize at the Intel science fair, she and her teacher have received inquiries from researchers who are actually implementing the therapy and are interested in her work. Amy, whose parents came here from China, is also a cellist and tutors younger children in her spare time. Amy met the President at the October 2010 White House Science Fair.

Dr. Peter Rhee (Tucson, AZ)
Dr. Peter Rhee is an United States Navy veteran and military surgeon, currently serving as the Chief of Trauma at the University Medical Center in Tucson, Arizona. Dr. Rhee oversaw the medical care associated with Arizona's recent shooting tragedy, including the care of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. Rhee has handled hundreds of battlefield injuries in two war deployments beginning in 2001. He was one of the first battlefield surgeons to be deployed to Camp Rhino, the first U.S. land base in Afghanistan, located in the remote desert about 100 miles southwest of Kandahar. In 2005, he served in Iraq. Rhee earned his medical degree at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences F. Edward Hebert School of Medicine in 1987. He has a master's degree in public health from the University of Washington in Seattle and a diploma in the medical care of catastrophes.
Very impressive individuals. To see the full guest list for the First Lady's Box at the State of the Union Address, go to the White House website here. And here's a local Dallas news story on Amy Chyao: Plano Student to Be President's Guest for State of the Union.