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News & Press: VABIO News

Broad Run Student Wins VA BioGENEius Challenge

Friday, May 16, 2014  
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Virginia Bio, the Virginia Bioscience Foundation and ATCC have named Broad Run High School student Adriel Sumathipala of Ashburn, VA as the winner of the 2014 Virginia BioGENEius Challenge, the premier competition for high school students that recognizes outstanding research in biotechnology. A panel of volunteer judges from industry and education made the selection from fourteen impressive applications. Next up: Adriel will compete against students from across the US, Canada and Australia in the International BioGENEius Challenge during the 2014 BIO International Convention in San Diego, CA.

Adreil's project focuses on coronary heart disease (CHD) which remains the leading cause of mortality in the world. This research developed a low-cost, point-of-care test to detect cholesterol and oxidized low-density-lipoprotein (Ox-LDL), biomarkers of CHD. Two promising sensors for cholesterol were developed, and  research continues towards optimization of an integrated cholesterol, Ox-LDL sensor.

“Through his current and future research, Adriel has an opportunity to make a significant contribution to the world around us. Virginia will be cheering on Adriel at the 2014 BIO International Convention this June,” said Jeff Gallagher, CEO, Virginia Bio.

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.

Adriel will be granted insider access to the biotechnology industry through his attendance at the 2014 BIO International Convention, the industry’s trade conference, where leading companies, scientists and innovators will offer Adriel first-hand experience on what a dynamic career in the industry can encompass.

The International BioGENEius Challenge is organized by the Biotechnology Institute, the national organization dedicated to biotechnology education. Co-Lead Supporters of the Challenge include Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of leading global pharmaceutical company Sanofi, and Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson.

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