Premier High School Biotech Scientists to Showcase Research at Leading Industry Conference

Jun 30, 2015 3:00 PM ET
Campaign: Sanofi Canada

Today, the Biotechnology Institute named the top 14 student finalists who will compete in the final stage of the 2015 International BioGENEius Challenge. “With younger generations growing increasingly civic minded and looking to affect positive change in their communities by finding first-rate solutions to food, climate and health challenges, the BioGENEius Challenge nurtures the best, smartest and most skilled students who aim to tackle these issues and pursue a career in biotechnology,” said Dr. Lawrence Mahan, President of Biotechnology Institute.

The BioGENEius Challenge is the premier competition for high school students – from across the world – that recognizes outstanding research in biotechnology. The Challenge provides young STEM (Science Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) innovators and entrepreneurs a venue to showcase their research, in addition to helping them build a long-term support system for converting their dreams into reality.

New this year, the students will be recognized for their efforts in three different Challenge tracks--global healthcare, agricultural sustainability and the environment-- to highlight the students’ work across all segments of the industry. The addition of these three new BioGENEius Challenges is part of a new strategic initiative to expand the depth and impact of the program. Finalists from each track will join industry professionals at the BIO International Convention.

“While schools across the nation cheer on athletes, the BioGENEius Challenge offers a venue where exceptional biotech students are cheered on by an entire industry,” said Seema Kumar, VP Innovation, Global Health and Policy Communications at Johnson & Johnson. “We are proud to support a program that provides students with unparalleled access to the business community they will someday be joining.”

The Challenge is one of the few international competitions to host participants at a leading industry conference, the 2015 BIO International Convention, offering the students unparalleled access to leading companies, scientists and innovators in biotechnology.

Student finalists include:

  • Ayan Bandyopadhyay, Bellarmine College Preparatory, San Jose, California
  • Michael Tran Duong, Methacton High School, Eagleville, Pennsylvania
  • Anvita Gupta, BASIS Scottsdale, Scottsdale, Arizona
  • Simon Kammann, Institut Dr. Flad, Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg
  • Anthony Kang, San Diego Canyon Crest High School, San Diego, California
  • Olivia Lenzo, Oak Park River Forest High School, Oak Park, Illinois
  • Aditya Mohan, Colonel By Secondary School, Ottawa, Ontario
  • Jonah Ng, Las Cruces High School, Las Cruces, New Mexico
  • Rohan Palanki, WP Davidson High School, Mobile, Alabama
  • Edward Park, Las Cruces High School, Las Cruces, New Mexico
  • Vaishnavi Shrivastava, Mission San Jose High School, Fremont, California
  • Kimberly Te, Manhasset High School, Manhasset, New York
  • Han Jie Wang, David Thompson Secondary, Vancouver, British Columbia
  • Paul Winkler, Gymnasium Brandis, Brandis, Saxony

Tomorrow, the top winners in each category – global health, agricultural sustainability and the environment -- will be announced during a lunch at the 2015 BIO International Convention that will be keynoted by Tom Brokaw. Each winner will receive a $7.500 cash prize.

“These students will be tomorrow’s biotechnology leaders,” said Sanofi Pasteur Senior VP for R&D John Shiver, PhD. “We’re thrilled to sponsor a program that will position them to tackle our world’s most pressing problems.”

The International BioGENEius Challenge is organized by the Biotechnology Institute, a U.S. based organization dedicated to biotechnology education. Generous support from sponsors include the Global Healthcare Challenge sponsor Johnson & Johnson Innovation and the International BioGENEius sponsor Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of Sanofi.

*This release was originally published by the Biotechnology Institute.

About Sanofi –

Sanofi, a global healthcare leader, discovers, develops and distributes therapeutic solutions focused on patients' needs. Sanofi has core strengths in diabetes solutions, human vaccines, innovative drugs, consumer healthcare, emerging markets, animal health and Genzyme. Sanofi is listed in Paris (EURONEXT: SAN) and in New York (NYSE: SNY).

Sanofi entities in Canada include Sanofi Canada (pharmaceuticals), Sanofi Pasteur (vaccines), Sanofi Consumer Health (cosmeceuticals, over-the-counter products and specialty care), Genzyme (rare diseases) and Merial (animal health). Together they employ close to 1,700 people. In 2014 Sanofi companies invested $130.5 million in R&D in Canada, creating jobs, business and opportunity throughout the country.

About Sanofi Biogenius Canada

Sanofi Biogenius Canada is one of the country's most prestigious student science competitions, and pairs exceptional young scientists at the high school level with academic mentors to pursue real-world research projects. These enriching partnerships have resulted in many promising breakthroughs predominantly in the life sciences.  The Sanofi Group in Canada is proud to sponsor the Sanofi Biogenius Canada as part of its corporate social responsibility efforts and development of the next generation of Canadian life science research.

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Follow Sanofi Biogenius Canada on Twitter: @BiogeniusCA