News Column

Palo Alto Recent Grad Gets BioGENEius Top Honor

July 7, 2014

California exiting senior Emily Wang recently won the International BioGENEius Challenge.

According to a media release on June 28, a panel of judges found that Wang's research in developing fluorescent proteins to improve biosensing helped her stand out from the 14 other finalists from across the U.S. and Canada competing for the Challenge's top prize, a $7,500 cash award.

"The BioGENEius Challenge seeks to support young students who are addressing global challenges in human health, food and the environment using biotechnology," said Janelle Curtis, VP of Programs for the Biotechnology Institute, the organization that oversees the Challenge. "I'm extremely proud of this year's finalists and the scientific challenges they took on."

The winner was named on June 24 during a 2014 BIO International Convention's luncheon, which was keynoted by Sir Richard Branson

Emily's project, titled, "Illuminating Disease Pathways: Developing Bright Fluorescent Proteins to Improve FRET Biosensing," seeks to help visualize disease pathways, including cancer metastases.

The second, third, and fourth place winners, who won $5,000, $2,500 and $1,000, respectively were:

-Logan Collins, Fairview High School, Boulder, CO

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

-Nathan Han, Boston Latin School, Boston, MA

"The young people that we saw on the stage today are the future of our industry and soon will be solving the world's problems," said Mark Lievonen, President of Sanofi Pasteur Limited. "Sanofi Pasteur is proud to be involved in a competition that applauds STEM students for their forward-looking projects and commitment to research."

"We are incredibly impressed by the students participating in the BioGENEius Challenge - their commitment and their important accomplishments," said Jay P. Siegel, M.D., Chief Biotechnology Officer and Head of Scientific Strategy and Policy for Johnson & Johnson. "The Janssen sponsorship of the BioGENEius Challenge reflects our firm commitment to fostering tomorrow's biotechnology workforce."

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

International BioGENEius Challenge is a competition for high school students that recognizes outstanding research in biotechnology.

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

Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of Sanofi, provides a range of vaccines protecting against 20 infectious diseases.

Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson is dedicated to addressing and solving unmet medical needs.

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Source: Professional Services Close - Up

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