WEtech Alliance is delighted to report that one of our local high school teams participating in the BioGENEius competition have claimed First Place Overall, First Place for a New Team and the Ontario Genomics Prize sponsored by the Ontario Genomics Institute at the Southwestern Ontario Regional Competition held yesterday at the McMaster Innovation Park.
Here is the Hamilton Spectator article from this morning: http://www.thespec.com/news/local/article/909730–teens-bone-marrow-project-wins-biotech-challenge.
The team of Melanie Grondin and Shawn Liu, both Grade 12 students from Massey Secondary School, received a total prize winning of $3,000 and the chance to travel to Ottawa for the National Championships to present their project on expanding bone marrow stem cells for transplants.
Congratulations to Professor Lisa Porter at the University of Windsor and her laboratory staff, with special mention to graduate student Kaitlyn Matthews, for mentoring this terrific duo.
BioGENEius is a prestigious national science competition that is unique because it partners high school students with professors at the university to work on real biotechnology related research inside a real laboratory.
This was the first time that students from Windsor and Essex participated in BioGENEius, which celebrated its 20th anniversary this year.
The other participating students were:
Daisy An and Lia Huo – Grade 11, Massey Secondary School
Dragos Chiriac – Grade 12 Massey Secondary School (did not attend competition)
Dominique Ferrarelli – Grade 12, General Amherst
WEtech Alliance, with support from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, spearheaded the expansion of the BioGENEius program into area high schools partnering with the Faculty of Science at the University of Windsor.
Congratulations go out to all of the Professors in the Faculty of Science who opened up their laboratories to our six students participating in BioGENEius and gave of their time and resources, including Dr. Siriam Pandey, Dr. Sirinart Ananvoranich, Dr. Lisa Porter and Dr. Bulent Mutus.
“One of the students confided in me that whereas before BioGENEius they were set on attending the University of Western Ontario, but the experience working with our professors at the university have convinced them to apply to the University of Windsor,” says Dr. Irek Kusmierczyk, a Program Manager at WEtech Alliance in charge of the program.
“This program sets students on career paths in biotechnology, and WEtech Alliance is thrilled to support our next generation of innovators and technology entrepreneurs,” says Karen Behune Plunkett, the President and CEO of WEtech Alliance.
Here is a previous news article about the Twentieth Anniversary of BioGENEius which provides some excellence background information about the program: http://www.newswire.ca/en/story/1125613/sanofi-biogeneius-challenge-canada-celebrates-20-years-of-advancing-science-74-of-sbcc-participants-pursued-science-careers-thanks-to-national-biotech.
For interested media, WEtech will arrange interview/footage/photos of students working in Dr. Porter’s laboratory today at 4:30pm. Please contact Dr. Kusmierczyk below to confirm your presence. Media inquiries can be directed to:
Dr. Irek Kusmierczyk, PhD
Program Manager, WEtech Alliance