This viral genius boy became a researcher at the age of 13.
Do you remember the 11-year-old genius boy who became viral on social media after offering to help his much older college classmates? Back in 2016, Daniel Liu was taking classes at the University of Toledo while also enrolled at his high school.
His post-secondary classmate, Cigdem Kahyaoglu tweeted a photo of him with the caption:
“This kid is 11 and in my organic chemistry class he said if we have questions to just email him.”
Two years later, Liu co-authored a research paper that aims a faster, cheaper and more environmentally friendly way to make pharmaceutical drugs and pesticides. Back in May, Mohit Kapoor, a postdoctoral associate in the lab who worked with Liu on the paper published said that it was a pleasure to work with him.
“Currently the methods to make these are going to use four or five steps for the one step that we are able to use,” Liu said.
He is now doing well as a researcher at the lab of organic chemistry Assistant Professor Michael Young.
Though the University of Toledo’s Environmental Health and Radiation Safety Department does not allow children under 12 to be in labs, it was an exception for Liu and was able to start working in Young’s lab with his parents’ permission when he was still 11.
“Having Daniel has definitely been interesting,” Young said.
“On the one hand, his intellect is very much like an adult, but socially he’s still a kid.”
“He’s grown emotionally to the point where I consider that he’s almost a regular undergraduate,” Young noted.
In 2015, Liu beats beat over 30,000 other students to become the youngest to win the Chemical Educational Foundation’s “You Be the Chemist” challenge at age 10 during where he won a $10,000 prize.
Watch the video below: