Premier High School Biotech Scientists to Showcase Research at Leading Industry Conference

Top 14 BioGENEius Challenge Finalists to Compete in International BioGENEius Challenge

WASHINGTON--()--Today, the Biotechnology Institute named the top 14 student finalists who will compete in the final stage of the 2015 International BioGENEius Challenge. “With younger generations growing increasingly civic minded and looking to affect positive change in their communities by finding first-rate solutions to food, climate and health challenges, the BioGENEius Challenge nurtures the best, smartest and most skilled students who aim to tackle these issues and pursue a career in biotechnology,” said Dr. Lawrence Mahan, President of Biotechnology Institute.

The BioGENEius Challenge is the premier competition for high school students – from across the world – that recognizes outstanding research in biotechnology. The Challenge provides young STEM (Science Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) innovators and entrepreneurs a venue to showcase their research, in addition to helping them build a long-term support system for converting their dreams into reality.

New this year, the students will be recognized for their efforts in three different Challenge tracks--global healthcare, agricultural sustainability and the environment-- to highlight the students’ work across all segments of the industry. The addition of these three new BioGENEius Challenges is part of a new strategic initiative to expand the depth and impact of the program. Finalists from each track will join industry professionals at the BIO International Convention.

“While schools across the nation cheer on athletes, the BioGENEius Challenge offers a venue where exceptional biotech students are cheered on by an entire industry,” said Seema Kumar, VP Innovation, Global Health and Policy Communications at Johnson & Johnson. “We are proud to support a program that provides students with unparalleled access to the business community they will someday be joining.”

The Challenge is one of the few international competitions to host participants at a leading industry conference, the 2015 BIO International Convention, offering the students unparalleled access to leading companies, scientists and innovators in biotechnology.

Student finalists include:

  • Ayan Bandyopadhyay, Bellarmine College Preparatory, San Jose, California
  • Michael Tran Duong, Methacton High School, Eagleville, Pennsylvania
  • Anvita Gupta, BASIS Scottsdale, Scottsdale, Arizona
  • Simon Kammann, Institut Dr. Flad, Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg
  • Anthony Kang, San Diego Canyon Crest High School, San Diego, California
  • Olivia Lenzo, Oak Park River Forest High School, Oak Park, Illinois
  • Aditya Mohan, Colonel By Secondary School, Ottawa, Ontario
  • Jonah Ng, Las Cruces High School, Las Cruces, New Mexico
  • Rohan Palanki, WP Davidson High School, Mobile, Alabama
  • Edward Park, Las Cruces High School, Las Cruces, New Mexico
  • Vaishnavi Shrivastava, Mission San Jose High School, Fremont, California
  • Kimberly Te, Manhasset High School, Manhasset, New York
  • Han Jie Wang, David Thompson Secondary, Vancouver, British Columbia
  • Paul Winkler, Gymnasium Brandis, Brandis, Saxony

Tomorrow, the top winners in each category – global health, agricultural sustainability and the environment -- will be announced during a lunch at the 2015 BIO International Convention that will be keynoted by Tom Brokaw. Each winner will receive a $7.500 cash prize.

“These students will be tomorrow’s biotechnology leaders,” said Sanofi Pasteur Senior VP for R&D John Shiver, PhD. “We’re thrilled to sponsor a program that will position them to tackle our world’s most pressing problems.”

The International BioGENEius Challenge is organized by the Biotechnology Institute, a U.S. based organization dedicated to biotechnology education. Generous support from sponsors include the Global Healthcare Challenge sponsor Johnson & Johnson Innovation and the International BioGENEius sponsor Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of Sanofi.

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

About Johnson & Johnson Innovation

Johnson & Johnson Innovation LLC focuses on accelerating early-stage innovation worldwide and forming collaborations between entrepreneurs and Johnson & Johnson’s global healthcare businesses. Johnson & Johnson Innovation provides scientists, entrepreneurs and emerging companies one-stop access to science and technology experts who can facilitate collaborations across the pharmaceutical, medical device and diagnostics and consumer companies of Johnson & Johnson. Johnson & Johnson Innovation includes local deal-making capabilities with the flexibility to adapt deal structures to match early-stage opportunities and establish novel collaborations that speed development of innovations to solve unmet needs in patients. For more information please visit:

About Sanofi Pasteur

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 the broadest 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: or


Biotechnology Institute
Alexia Sikora, 202-295-8788

Release Summary

Today, the Biotechnology Institute named the top 14 student finalists who will compete in the final stage of the 2015 International BioGENEius Challenge.


Biotechnology Institute
Alexia Sikora, 202-295-8788