HACKENSACK - A North Jersey teenager is being honored for his research that some day could be used to treat cancer.

Josh Meier, 17, was always fascinated by stem cells. When his biology professor at Bergen County Academy asked students to come up with a research project, he knew exactly what he wanted to study.

"We can make stems cells in the lab today, artificially-generated stem cells," Meier says. "But no one uses them because they rapidly age. So I wanted to understand why that was happening."

Meier spent hours in the science lab at Bergen's Science and Technology Magnet School in Hackensack.

"There are no tests in this class, no homework," says his biology teacher, Robert Pergolizzi. "Their whole goal is to develop a project into something they can actually do with the resources we have."

By studying the aging of artificially-created stem cells, Josh's research could eventually be applied to the human body and one day allow scientists to slow the growth of cancer cells.

"His project was the kind of project that, in my opinion, has a Nobel Prize quality," Pergolizzi says.

Meier entered his project in a national science competition and won third place. He also received a trip to Washington and a $40,000 college scholarship.

He is applying to college, and hopes to one day become a scientist.

For more on teen scientist Josh Meier, watch the clip to the left or click News 12 Extra on Optimum TV channel 612.