The GTA’s Top Biotech Teens 2014

Toronto, Ontario – May 1, 2014 – 44 students in 24 groups squared off in this year’s Regional 2014 “Sanofi BioGENEius Challenge Canada (SBCC),” each group presenting their biotechnology research and life-changing discoveries. Projects ranged from Bipolar Disorder, Alzheimer’s, Crohne’s Disease, Renal Cell Injury and Cancer to plastic-degrading bacteria, photoactive carbon-fixing bacteria, organic waste-fueled microbial fuel cells, fruit fly microbes and combating antibiotic resistance.

All of the students are deserving of recognition for their efforts, however 10 students have been named the regional winners.

First prize was awarded to Anoop Manjunath, a grade 11 student at the University of Toronto Schools, who studied the viability of ultrasound stimulated microbubbles (USMBs) as a treatment option for thrombotic occlusions.

Second prize went to Divya Santhanam and Lauren Beck, grade 11 students at the University of Toronto Schools, who investigated the cooperation between three oncogenes frequently found mutated in breast cancer(PI3K, Stat3 and Ras) in the development of breast cancer.

Third prize went to Manasi Parikh, a grade 11 student at Glenforest Secondary School in Mississauga, who studied mechanisms of combating antibiotic resistance through Investigations into novel small molecule inhibitors of bacterial growth. Manasi also won the prize for Best from a New School.

Fourth prize went to Michael Liu and Bill Jia, grade 11 students at the University of Toronto Schools, who presented a proof-of-concept (using IgG) for combining Immunoquantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction (iqPCR) on a Digital Microfluidic System (dMIP) for future economical detection and quantification of HIV p24.

Fifth prize went to Laura Wu and Jessica Chee, grade 10 students at the University of Toronto Schools, who used Drosophila as Alzheimer’s models to study the effect of epigenetic drugs on tau and amyloid–beta Alzheimer protein expression.

A special prize for Greatest Commercialization Potential was awarded to Aaron Graab and Nicholas Petershofer, grade 12 students at Pierre Elliott Trudeau High School in Markham, who looked at incorporating the use of organic wasteto improve the efficiency of current Microbial Fuel Cells. These students showed great initiative in finding a virtual mentor to guide them as they did their experiments in their high school lab.

The winner of this competition, Anoop Manjunath, will enter the national 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, 2014.

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.