Edmonton, AB, April 28, 2014 – Eighteen high-school students squared off in this year’s Alberta Regional 2014 Sanofi BioGENEius Challenge Canada (SBCC), a biotechnology research competition that encourages students to pursue future studies and careers in the exciting field of biotechnology. Each of 12 teams presented their research and life-changing discoveries ranging from investigating diagnostic tools for the detection of Multiple Sclerosis, understanding hydrocarbon biodegradation by tailings pond microbial consortia in addition to exploring the microbial cause of Crohn’s disease.
All of the students are deserving of recognition for their efforts, however seven students have been named Alberta Regional winners.
Jessica Wickware of Harry Ainlay High School in Edmonton won first place with a study titled “Tumour Origami: A Three-Dimensional Visualization of Drug Resistance in Malignant Tumours.” Dr. Ratmir Derda of the University of Alberta mentored Jessica throughout her research. Jessica will enter the national SBCC competition held at the headquarters of the National Research Council in Ottawa, on May 22, 2014, followed by the SBCC National Awards Ceremony, co-presented with the Partners In Research National Awards, on May 23.
Arjun Nair, a 17-year-old Calgary student from Webber Academy, took second place for his project titled “Investigating Novel Diagnostic Tools for the Detection of Multiple Sclerosis.” Arjun’s mentor was Dr. Wee Yong of the University of Calgary. Arjun participated in the SBCC 2013 and won first place with his futuristic study focused on research of developing a nano-bullet to defeat cancer.
Third place was awarded to Sujay Nagaraj a 16 year old student from Western Canada High School in Calgary. Sujay was mentored by Dr. John Kelly of the Southern Alberta Cancer Research Institute, who supported Sujay throughout his innovative project titled: “Synergistic Treatment of GBM BTSC’s through Growth Factor Stimulation and Anti-Neoplastic Therapy.”
Ali Haghani and Jack Du, grade 12 students from Sir Winston Churchill High School in Calgary, formed a team winning fourth place. Dr. Lisa Gieg, University of Calgary, mentored Ali and Jack throughout their exploration of the “Hydrocarbon biodegradation by tailings pond microbial consortia under aerobic and anaerobic conditions.”
Cash prizes were also awarded for the “Most Commercially Viable Project” and the “Best Elevator Pitch” as follows:
Congratulations to the team of Andrea Lin and Alice Xue for winning the Best Elevator Pitch prize. The team did an awesome job on communicating the market potential of the “The Microbial Cause of Crohn’s Disease.”