BIO Buzz: Two Massachusetts Students to Compete in BioGENEius Challenge

Congratulations to our two BioGENEius Challenge contestants, Oliver Dodd and Rahi Punjabi!

Oliver Dodd of Needham High School and Rahi Punjabi of Advanced Math and Science Academy Charter School worked long and hard on their submissions for the Massachusetts State Science & Engineering Fair (MSSEF). As winners, they will go on to compete as part of the 2012 BIO International Convention BioGENEius Challenge.

Rahi Punjabi (15) is a tenth grade student from the Advanced Math and Science Academy Charter School. His biology-based project is entitled “The Role of Garlic in Attenuating Pseudomonas Infection.” This study evaluated the antibiotic potential of garlic against the bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Through investigation of its antimicrobial activity, synergy with currently prescribed antibiotics, and effect on biofilm formation and bacterial communication, it was concluded that garlic in combination with tobramycin may be a promising therapy for cystic fibrosis patients.

Oliver Dodd (17) is an eleventh grade student from Needham High School. His biology-based project is entitled “Cancer Growth Regulators.”  The focus of his research is to investigate how the naturally occurring proteins encapsulated in platelets are released, and how this release may be manipulated to starve tumors.

The BioGENEius Challenges are national and international competitions for high school students that recognize excellence in original research in biotechnology. The Challenges, organized by the Biotechnology Institute, are prestigious science competitions with significant cash prizes awarded to the winners.

BioGENEiusSelected winners of both at-large and 11 local (state) BioGENEius Challenges compete and present their research posters and oral presentations in front of a panel of biotech judges. Each student will compete with more than 35 students for a chance to advance to the International Challenge for cash prizes totaling $20,000. The students will be evaluated on their scientific merit and creative ability, project execution, and poster/oral presentation.

“By highlighting the amazing research of these students, at such a young age, the BioGENEius Challenge promotes scientific excellence and curiosity. With more than 430 students competing in the Challenge each year, we hope to encourage these students – as well as others – to consider pursuing a career in biotechnology.”

-  Tom Wiggans, Chairman of The Biotechnology Institute

MassBioEd, a local partner of the BioGENEius Challenge, worked alongside MSSEF to recruit students as participants in the BioGENEius competition. As a local partner, MassBioEd was active in recruiting judges for both the National and International BioGENEius Challenges as well as coordinating with the MSSEF winners in preparation for BIO.

“The BioGENEius Challenge is the premier competition for high school students inspired to excel in the field of biotechnology. We are proud of the two Massachusetts students that will represent the state in the upcoming US BioGENEius challenge and wish them the best as they compete and present their research posters and oral presentations in front of a panel of biotech judges.”

- Suzanne Grillo, Director, Corporate & Community Relations, MassBioEd

On June 17th, these two talented Massachusetts students will compete with State Science Fair winners from across the nation in the U.S. National BioGENEius Challenge. The winners from this day will continue on to the International level on June 18th. The International BioGENEius Challenge Awards will be announced on June 19th as part of the 2012 BIO International Convention’s Keynote Luncheon.

Posted on May 30, 2012, in BIO Buzz, MassBioEd and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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