Press release

Elite High School Scientists Headed to BIO 2019 to Face Off in the BioGENEius Challenge

Sponsored by Businesswire

Today, the Biotechnology Institute announced the 15 student winners who
will advance to the final stages of the 2019 BioGENEius Challenge this
coming week at the BIO International Convention (BIO 2019) in
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The BioGENEius Challenge is the premier competition for high school
students from across the globe that recognizes outstanding research and
innovation in biotechnology. This year, finalists come from across the
U.S. and Canada, having won State or Regional science competitions or
through the Institute’s at-large national competition to vie for
recognition in any of three Global Challenge categories: Healthcare,
Sustainability (AgBIo) and Industrial/Environmental Biotechnology.

Johnson & Johnson Innovation is the signature sponsor of the BioGENEius
Program and the Global Healthcare Challenge as part of its longstanding
mission to support STEM education.

“Science needs champions, and that’s why we at Johnson & Johnson are
proud once again to serve as the exclusive sponsor of the BioGENEius
Global Healthcare and Gene Pool competitions,” said Seema Kumar, VP
Innovation, Global Health and Policy Communications at Johnson &
Johnson. “Each of the students competing this year has brought together
heart, science and ingenuity to solve some of the world’s greatest
challenges in healthcare, energy and agriculture. We’re simply amazed
both by their passion for research and discovery and by the
extraordinarily high quality of their projects.”

On June 3rd, the elite high school finalists will participate
in the final round of judging for the International BioGENEius
Challenge. During the competition, students will present their highly
advanced research projects that address a variety of real world
challenges. Many BioGENEius finalists go on to distinguishing academic
and industry careers to realize their innovative capabilities.

This year’s BioGENEius finalists include:

  • Melanie Quan, Las Lomas High School, Walnut Creek, CA
  • Nadia Ansari Sage Hill School, Newport Coast, CA
  • Spoorthy Reddy, Fairview High School, Boulder, CO
  • Udeerna Tippabhatla, The Charter School of Wilmington, Wilmington, DE
  • Ananya Ganesh, The Westminster Schools, Atlanta, GA
  • Leila Winn, Oak Park River Forest High School, Oak Park, IL
  • Claire Wills, Central Lee High School, Donnellson, IA
  • Katrina Case, Pembroke Hill School, Kansas City, KS
  • Melissa Tian, Bangor High School, Bangor, ME
  • Faith Cheung, Richard Montgomery High School, Rockville, MD
  • Maximilian Zhang, Bergen County Academies, Hackensack, NJ
  • Aneesha Manocha, North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics,
    Durham, NC
  • Neil Deshmukh, Moravian Academy, Bethlehem, PA
  • Ethan Chan, Glenlyon Norfolk School, Victoria, BC, Canada
  • Paula Zhu, Albemarle High School, Charlottesville, VA

“The extraordinary research we see during the BioGENEius Challenge
underscores the importance of investing and encouraging our younger
generations to pursue their ideas.” said Dr. Larry Mahan, President of
the Biotechnology Institute. “By focusing on and encouraging the breadth
of promising applications of biotechnology, we will ensure the continued
growth of STEM education and career development opportunities in both
academia and industry these young innovators.”

The winners of the International BioGENEius Challenge will be announced
during the Tuesday Keynote Address at the 2019 BIO International
Convention. Each winner will receive a $7,500 cash prize.

The BioGENEius Challenge is organized by the Biotechnology Institute, a
U.S. based organization dedicated to biotechnology education. Generous
supporting sponsors include Johnson & Johnson Innovation and the
Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO).

About the Biotechnology Institute

The Biotechnology Institute is an independent, national nonprofit
organization dedicated to education about the present and future impact
of biotechnology. Its mission is to engage, excite and educate the
public, particularly students and teachers, about biotechnology and its
immense potential for solving human health, food and environmental
problems. For more information, visit