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News & Press: VABIO News

High School Freshman From Ashburn, VA, Marissa Sumathipala Wins Virginia BioGENEius Challenge

Thursday, May 21, 2015  
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For most people, a list of “teenage activities” includes sports practices, drivers ed, and trips to the mall with friends. Take a look at the news and you’ll find that today’s generation of teens are also focusing their energies on solving our world’s most challenging health, food, and environment problems.

The BioGENEius Challenge exemplifies this public service trend. Each year a group of elite high school students from across the nation are dedicating their time to science innovation and competing in a prestigious competition that recognizes outstanding research in biotechnology by investigating some of the most complex issues facing our society today.

Organized by the Biotechnology Institute, BioGENEius provides young Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) innovators a venue to showcase their research and engage with leaders from the science industries, allowing them to gain invaluable insights while encouraging them to pursue their dreams.

These students are using their research to solve global problems head-on by providing breakthrough solutions to heal and feed people, and fuel the planet. Engaging them encourages these future leaders to pursue their ideas and inspire others.

This year, Marissa Sumathipala, a freshman from Broad Run High School in Ashburn, VA won our Virginia BioGENEius Challenge. We are excited to be joining Marissa as she heads to the 2015 BIO International Convention in Philadelphia to compete against the other state winners and vie for a top position in the International BioGENEius Challenge.

The BioGENEius Challenge recognizes outstanding research in biotechnology and applauds students like Marissa who are part of a socially responsible generation looking to make impactful change in both local and global communities.

The BioGENEius Challenge is one of the few international competitions to host student participants at a leading industry conference. This unparalleled access to leading companies, scientists and innovators in biotechnology provides participants with limitless inspiration and first-hand experience on what a dynamic future career in the industry can encompass.

Three first place winners in the categories of healthcare, sustainability and the environment will be named during a luncheon at the 2015 BIO International Convention featuring Tom Brokaw. The winners will receive a $7,500 cash prize.

Past participants and winners have gone on to win major awards at Intel’s International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), the Science Talent Search (STS), and attend the prestigious White House Science Fair.

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