News Column

High School Biotech Scientists to Compete in International BioGENEius Challenge

June 23, 2014

The Biotechnology Institute on June 18 revealed the top 15 student finalists who will compete in the final stage of the 2014 International BioGENEius Challenge.

"The BioGENEius Challenge encourages the younger generation, one that is increasingly civic minded, to find first-rate solutions to food, climate and health challenges. This competition nurtures the best, the most innovative and skilled student scientists," said Janelle Curtis, VP of Programs for the Biotechnology Institute, the organization overseeing the Challenge.

The institute reported in a release that the BioGENEius Challenge is a competition for high school students - from across the world - that recognizes outstanding research in biotechnology.

Student finalists include:

-Emily Wang, Henry M. Gunn High School, Palo Alto, California

-Shreya Ramayya, Palos Verdes Peninsula High School, Rolling Hills Estates, California

-Logan Collins, Fairview High School, Boulder, Colorado

-Bansri Patel, Sussex Technical High School, Georgetown, Delaware

-Leila Abdelrahman, Coral Reef Senior High School, Miami, Florida

-Kayla Evans, Douglas County High School, Douglasville, Georgia

-Grace Niewijk, Oak Park and River Forest High School, City, Oak Park, Illinois

-Triton Wolfe, Olathe North High School, Olathe, Kansas

-Neil Davey, Montgomery Blair High School, Silver Spring, Maryland

-Nathan Han, Boston Latin School, Boston, Massachusetts

-Jarek Kwiecinski, Albuquerque Institute for Mathematics and Science at UNM, Albuquerque, New Mexico

-Daniel Ren, North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics, Durham, North Carolina

-Michael Duong, Methacton High School, Eagleville, Pennsylvania

-Nicole Ticea, York House School, Vancouver, British Columbia

-Adriel Sumathipala, Broad Run High School, Ashburn, Virginia

The top four winners will be announced during a lunch at the 2014 BIO International Convention that will be keynoted by Sir Richard Branson.

The first place winner in the International competition will receive a $7,500 cash prize, the second place winner will receive $5,000, the third place winner will receive $2,500 and the fourth place winner will receive $1,000.

"We are proud to sponsor a program that provides students who are interested in STEM education with an experience that enables them to share in the excitement of biotechnology and with the skills and knowledge that will help them succeed," said Jay P. Siegel, M.D., Chief Biotechnology Officer and Head of Scientific Strategy and Policy for Johnson & Johnson.

"With their participation in the 2014 BIO International Convention, these outstanding life sciences students provide great inspiration to the industry and gain first-hand experience regarding the types of dynamic careers available in the biotechnology industry," said Mark Lievonen, President of Sanofi Pasteur Limited. "Today's 15 finalists are truly inspirational in illustrating how groundbreaking biotechnology discoveries can improve our everyday lives."

The International BioGENEius Challenge is organized by the Biotechnology Institute, a U.S. based organization dedicated to biotechnology education.

Co-Lead Supporters of the Challenge are Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of global pharmaceutical company Sanofi, and Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson.

Support for the BioGENEius Challenge is also provided by International Supporter: Genentech; and U.S. National Supporters: Acorda Therapeutics, The Allergan Foundation, Alnylam, Pfizer, and Sangamo BioSciences.

The Biotechnology Institute is an independent, national nonprofit organization dedicated to education about the present and future impact of biotechnology

Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson are working to address and solve unmet medical needs in oncology, immunology, neuroscience, infectious diseases and vaccines, and cardiovascular and metabolic diseases.

Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of Sanofi, vaccines.

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