Montague graduate earns huge research grant, scholarships

Morgan King riding wave of interest in his high school research into research into Parkinson’s disease

Published on June 25, 2014

Montague high school student Morgan King has been offered almost $100,000 in scholarships and a research grant from a yet un-named company that could amount to almost $1 million.

©Photo Special to The Guardian

MONTAGUE — It all started when his parents put a doctor’s kit under the Christmas tree.

He was only five years old, but it kick started an interest in science and medicine that has now led Morgan King to dizzying new heights.

The graduate from Montague regional high school not only chalked up almost $100,000 in scholarships Monday night, but has been offered a research grant from a large Canadian company that unofficially could tally up to almost $1 million.

“I was blown away when I got the letter,’’ said the 18-year-old student. “I’m just so excited about this research and I’ve always wanted to be a doctor.”

King says he isn’t at liberty to reveal the amount of the funding until the unnamed company makes an official announcement. However, there has been no lack of unofficial speculation.

He’s head over heels in awe that his research into Parkinson’s disease was strong enough to attract the funding interest and allow him to continue his work.

King will attend UPEI next year to study biology and plans to partner with the funding company to continue his research for the years ahead. He plans on becoming a medical doctor.

“That doctor kit for Christmas got it going,’’ he laughed while having grad photos taken with friends. “My siblings include an artist, musician and athlete.”

Morgan and his cousin, Alexander King, submitted a research project in the Biogenuis Challenge this past year that won provincially and placed third in Atlantics.

“I emailed them to thank them for sponsoring the contest and I offered some more of my research ideas.”

The sponsoring company was obviously impressed with his ideas when it offered him the significant grant exploration and wrote the following.

“Morgan King exudes the qualities of a person who wishes to bring about change. His passion for innovation and his ability to think outside the box is astounding. He has informed our company of various ideas in order to progress the work he did on ‘Developing a Standardized Cell Toxicity Assay for B-Sitosterol Glucoside’ (BSSG). The work he and his partner, Alexander King, have done has potentially singularized a compound found in many plants that could be responsible for the onset of Parkinson’s disease.”

The company says Morgan has further expanded on the idea with steps he would take to advance the research to the next level.

“It is his ideas and desire to potentially revolutionize the face of modern medicine,” says the company. “(That we) would like to extend a hand in partnership with Morgan, and have offered him a grant for him to continue his research, and grow unrestrictedly.”

The son of Leslie and Darlene King of Brudenell, Morgan says he has been researching the effects of some flowers in Guam that may cause the early onset of Parkinson’s.

A list of achievements during the ceremony Monday night took some time. He also earned the UPEI Wanda Wyatt scholarship renewable up to $20,000, the Leaders of Tomorrow scholarship of $2,000, an achievement scholarship of $3,000, and a renewable scholarship of $64,000 from the International Union of Operating Engineers.