Southwestern Ontario’s Top Biotech Teens 2014

Guelph, ON – May 1, 2014 – 20 students squared off in this year’s Regional 2014 “Sanofi BioGENEius Challenge Canada (SBCC),” each of them presenting their biotechnology research and life-changing discoveries. The competition was hosted by the University of Guelph through the College of Biological Science.

Projects ranged from the of testing new therapies for beast cancer, using DNA barcodes to understand biodiversity distribution, identifying new antibiotics from mango ginger and understanding the role of growth factors in spine development.

All of the students are deserving of recognition for their efforts, however 7 students have been named the regional winners.

First prize was awarded to Varsha Jayasankar, a grade 12 student at Sir Winston Churchill in St. Catherine’s, who identified and tested novel broad acting chemical compounds found in mango ginger capable of  inactivating a wide variety of pathogenic bacteria.

Second prize went to Isaac Thevathasan and Anit Bahattachryya both in grade 11 at Centennial CVI in Guelph who tested a potent oxidative Manuka Honey that greatly boosted the efficacy  of antibiotics in eliminating pathogenic bacteria.

Third prize went to Wendy Fu and Moiz Shakeel two Grade 12 students attending Centennial CVI in Guelph who studied the complex toxicological effects of herbicide on the soil microorganisms.

Fourth prize went to Mella Younkyung Kim a grade 11 student attending London Central Secondary School in London examined the role of  the factor RAC1 on heart tissue to gain insight into normal and abnormal cardiac development.

Fifth prize went to Brynn Charron, a grade 12 student at Honorable Vincent Massey School in Windsor who examined the impact of the environment factors on genetic mutations in mouse genomes.

A special prize for Innovation was awarded to Avanish Pandi, a grade 11 student from Waterloo Collegiate in Waterloo. Pandi studied the health benefits for myocardial infarction patients monitored by a cellular phone compliance system that ensuring that life saving medications were being taken in a timely fashion.

The winner of this competition, Varsha Jayasankar, will enter the national Sanofi BioGENEius 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.

About the Sanofi BioGENEius Challenge Canada (SBCC)

The Sanofi BioGENEius Challenge Canada (SBCC) is a national biotechnology research competition that encourages high school and CEGEP students to pursue future studies and careers in the exciting field of biotechnology. Coordinated by Partners In Research, the initiative is sponsored by Sanofi Pasteur Limited, Sanofi Canada, the Ontario Government (Ministry of Research & Innovation), York University, the National Research Council Canada/Conseil national de recherches Canada (NRC-CNRC), Canadian Institutes of Health Research/Instituts de recherche en santé du Canada (CIHR-IRSC) and Genome Canada.



Media Contacts:

Doug Gajic, SWO SBBC Coordinator
289 College Ave, West
Phone: 519-993-1181 (Mobile)

Anne Ramsay
Partners In Research
Tel: 519-433-7866 x 23