Guest blog by Julien Sénécal

Originally posted on the CDRD blog, July 10, 2014

At CDRD, we value the importance of science education, outreach and promotion of young scientific innovation.  This year, we were proud to be national sponsors of the Sanofi BioGENEius Challenge Canada (SBCC).  Several of our scientists were pleased to have met with the participants and sat on the regional judging panel for the BC stage of the competition.  They were overwhelmed with the in-depth scientific knowledge that these young scientists displayed, as was our President and CEO, Karimah Es Sabar when she met the National Finalists in Ottawa in May.  Julien Sénécal, one of the top-five finalists took the time to write about his experience of SBCC 2014, and why such initiatives are so important in nurturing young scientists.  Well done to Julien and all participants in this year’s competition.  We look forward to SBC 2015.  Enjoy!

By Julien Sénécal……

In the Fall of 2013, I was offered the opportunity to partake in the Sanofi BioGENEius Challenge Canada, 2014 competition and to conduct my research at the Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research in the area of HIV.  Here is my story:

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At the GTA Awards Evening

On April 30, 2014, high school students across the GTA gathered to attend the Sanofi BioGENEius Challenge Canada awards ceremony held in the George Vari Engineering Building at Ryerson University. It was a great opportunity for students to showcase their poster projects to family, friends, judges, and other distinguished guests.

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Science beyond the Classroom

Guest blog by Vaidehee Lanke, SBCC Saskatchewan 2014 Competitor

When I first learned about the Sanofi BioGENEius Challenge Canada (SBCC), I was fascinated by the new possibilities science presents to the world. From the beginning I was very intrigued by biotechnology, an area of science that seemed endless to me, making it interesting to see the impact it had on people.  The moment when I realized I could make a real difference for the world was the motivational point for me. The SBCC has presented me with a challenge outside of school, let’s call it my debut in the science world.

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Tips for time management and lab work

Guest blog by Adrian Chan, 2009 and 2010 SBCC alumnus

Time Management

The SBCC is a huge time commitment for high school students who already have to juggle school, part-time jobs, and other extra-curricular studies. You’ll have to work out a schedule that fits both yours and the lab members’ since you will need supervision and assistance with your project. At times, it may be difficult to manage all your commitments but be assured that the SBCC experience will prove valuable to your future academic and career goals. The best thing to do is to focus on your end goal and not to worry about the small things. At times it’ll feel like you’re being pulled in many directions, but if you pause to reflect about your reason for joining the SBCC and the tremendous experience you’re gaining, you’ll be able to prioritize the things you want to do. Read more

Life Lessons from the Frontiers of Science: Mentoring to Unleash True Potential

By Mark Lievonen, President, Sanofi Pasteur Limited

Twenty years ago, Sanofi Pasteur helped found the Sanofi BioGENEius Challenge Canada (SBCC) because we believed in giving back. Since then, over 4,500 budding young scientists have had the opportunity to conduct research in areas such as cystic fibrosis, cancer, eco-friendly pesticides and HIV. For example, this year’s 16-year-old winner, Arjun Nair, showed how an antibiotic might help make cancer treatment more effective with his mentor Dr. David Cramb at the University of Calgary. Arjun was one of 14 international competitors at the prestigious BIO conference in April.

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