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News & Press: VABIO News

Competition and Networking Inspire Young Scientist

Monday, July 28, 2014  
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Fifteen year old Adriel Sumathipala, a rising junior at Broad Run High School in Ashburn Virginia attended the BIO International Convention in San Diego last month to represent Virginia by competing in the International BioGENEius Challenge.  The BioGENEius Challenge is the premier high school competition for bioscience students.  His project "Point-of-Care Biosensors: Cholesterol and Oxidized LDL Biomarker Detection for Tracking Coronary Heart Disease" was selected from a field of fourteen applicants as the Virginia BioGENEius Challenge winner.

The Virginia BioGENEius Challenge is a program of Virginia Bio, the Virginia Bioscience Foundation and sponsored by ATCC, designed to encourage young scientists.  Each year a volunteer panel of judges, made of up bioscience professionals from across the Commonwealth, evaluate applications and posters.  The Virginia winner receives an all expense paid trip to the BIO International Convention to compete in the International BioGENEius Competition for a chance to win up to $7500 and the title of International BioGENEius.

This year in addition to the competition, Adriel was able to attend the Virginia Reception hosted by the Virginia Economic Development Partnership to introduce Governor Terry McAuliffe to the bioscience community.  

The Virginia Reception was "the highlight of my BioGENEius experience, an experience quite unlike anything I have ever experienced before. Being able to meet face to face with those who are shaping the future of this industry was truly an amazing experience, perhaps my first real-world networking opportunity. Thank you so much, again, for facilitating my love for science and for your enthusiasm to help me. Even though the conversations were brief, it gave me a peek into the businesses and the products that are being developed which sounded so incredible. Thank you! And, I also got to meet our Governor" wrote Adriel in a note to Virginia Bio after returning.

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