SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--BayBio today named Henry M. Gunn High School senior Emily Wang of Palo Alto as the winner of the 2014 Amgen Bay Area BioGENEius Challenge, the premier competition for high school students that recognizes outstanding research in biotechnology. As the Amgen Bay Area BioGENEius finalist, Wang will gain insider access to the biotechnology industry by attending the 2014 BIO International Convention in San Diego, the industry’s trade conference, where leading companies, scientists and innovators will offer her invaluable advice and first-hand experience on the limitless possibilities within one of the world’s most innovative industries.
While in San Diego, Wang will compete against students from the U.S. and Canada in the International BioGENEius Challenge. Folsom High School Junior Nathaniel Varghese placed second and Bellarmine College Preparatory sophomore Anin Sayana placed third.
Vinay Ayyappan (Bellarmine College Preparatory), Raghu Dhara (Mission San Jose School) and Gokul Kalyanasundaram (Homestead High School) received honorable mentions by the judges.
“The Challenge is a leading example of an educational experience that provides students with the biotechnology skills and knowledge needed to succeed in this field,” said Lori Lindburg, executive director of the BayBio Institute. “This June, BayBio will be cheering on Emily Wang at the 2014 BIO International Convention as we already know that her current and future research has an opportunity to make a noteworthy contribution to the world.”
Through their generous sponsorship of the Challenge, Amgen, Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of leading global pharmaceutical company Sanofi, and Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, are taking an active role in changing and shaping the future of the biotechnology industry.
“Students are rapidly gaining interest in the sciences, and the BioGENEius Challenge has found a way to encourage those students who are excited about biotechnology to take the next step in their research,” said Mark Lievonen, President of Sanofi Pasteur Limited. “We are thrilled to participate in a program that cultivates young, innovative minds to address our global challenges in new ways.”
“Biotechnology offers an avenue to address some of the most pressing issues of our time. Through the BioGENEius Challenge students gain an appreciation for the fascinating aspects and tremendous potential of scientific experimentation,” added Jay P. Siegel, M.D., Chief Biotechnology Officer and Head of Scientific Strategy and Policy for Johnson & Johnson. “It is our expectation that this program will draw bright young people into the endeavor of biotechnology and help accelerate the development of the next-generation of scientists.”
Wang’s project was selected because her research focuses on developing new fluorescent proteins used in the imaging of neural structures, the visualization of cancer metastases and the monitoring of signaling pathways.
As the first place winner of the Amgen Bay Area BioGENEius challenge, Wang will receive a $2,000 prize and a trip to the International competition in San Diego. The first place winner in the International competition will receive a $7,500 cash prize, the second place winner will receive $5,000, the third place winner will receive $2,500 and the fourth place winner will receive $1,000.
In addition to Sanofi Pasteur and Janssen, support for the BioGENEius Challenge is provided by International Supporter: Genentech; and U.S. National Supporters: Acorda Therapeutics, The Allergan Foundation, Pfizer and Sangamo BioSciences. Amgen supports the Amgen Bay Area BioGENEius Challenge.
Follow the BioGENEius Challenge: Throughout the challenge, @BiotechInstitut will be tweeting interviews, photos, and engaging with the biotechnology community by using the hashtag #BioGENEius.
BayBio provides comprehensive support and solutions tailored to the unique needs of nearly 1000 Bay Area life science companies and institutions, delivering tangible value through group purchasing savings, capital access, government affairs & advocacy, networking and best-practice sharing. Online at www.baybio.org. Follow us on twitter: @BayBio.
Amgen is committed to unlocking the potential of biology for patients suffering from serious illnesses by discovering, developing, manufacturing and delivering innovative human therapeutics. This approach begins by using tools like advanced human genetics to unravel the complexities of disease and understand the fundamentals of human biology. Online at www.amgen.com.
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 www.biotechinstitute.org.
Sanofi, an integrated global healthcare leader, discovers, develops and distributes therapeutic solutions focused on patients’ needs. Sanofi has core strengths in the field of healthcare with seven growth platforms: diabetes solutions, human vaccines, innovative drugs, consumer healthcare, emerging markets, animal health and the new Genzyme. Sanofi is listed in Paris (EURONEXT: SAN) and in New York (NYSE: SNY).
Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of Sanofi, provides more than 1 billion doses of vaccine each year, making it possible to immunize more than 500 million people across the globe. A world leader in the vaccine industry, Sanofi Pasteur offers a broad range of vaccines protecting against 20 infectious diseases. The company's heritage, to create vaccines that protect life, dates back more than a century. Sanofi Pasteur is the largest company entirely dedicated to vaccines. Every day, the company invests more than EUR 1 million in research and development. For more information, please visit: www.sanofipasteur.com or www.sanofipasteur.us
At Janssen we are dedicated to addressing and solving some of the most important unmet medical needs of our time in oncology, immunology, neuroscience, infectious diseases and vaccines, and cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. Driven by our commitment to patients, we develop innovative products, services and healthcare solutions to help people throughout the world. For more information, please visit: www.janssenrnd.com