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Wednesday, June 15, 2022

High School Student from Pennsylvania Receives Top Honor at International BioGENEius Challenge

 High School Student from Pennsylvania Receives Top Honor at International BioGENEius Challenge

Students from Florida and Colorado receive Highest Honors

 

June 15, 2022 – San Diego, California – Okezue Bell (11th grade, Easton, PA) was named the grand prize winner of the International BioGENEius Challenge, the premier competition for high school students that recognizes outstanding research and innovation in biotechnology. Judged by industry and academic experts, Okezue’s research on “A novel anthropomorphic myoprosthesis for transradial amputees” stood out among the impressive research from his 13 fellow finalists. Along with the top honor, Okezue will receive a cash prize of $7,500.

 

Okezue’s project in the Johnson & Johnson Innovation Global Healthcare Challenge seeks to provide a highly functional, low-cost prosthetic for below-elbow amputees comparable to or exceeding the performance of currently available alternatives.

 

Atreya Manaswi (9th grade, Orlando, FL) and his research on “The development of a novel blend of volatile compounds from beer for small hive beetle treatment in honey bee colonies” along with Gitanjali Rao (11th grade, Highlands Ranch, CO) and her research on “Early directional diagnosis of prescription opioid addiction using µ opioid receptor” were awarded highest honors.

 

The winner and runners-up were named during the Tuesday morning Keynote at the 2022 BIO International Convention.  The International BioGENEius Challenge allows students the unique opportunity of attending the BIO International Convention, a leading biotechnology industry conference, allowing them gain valuable insights from leading biotech companies, scientists, leaders and innovators.

 

“We could not be more proud and inspired by this year’s International BioGENEius Challenge winner and those receiving highest honors. They represent the next generation of innovative scientists in the biotech world. The research they are working today on will help solve some of the most pressing global health, sustainability and environmental crises in the years to come,” said Dr. Lawrence Mahan, President of the Biotechnology Institute. “We applaud them for their forward-thinking projects and commitment to biotechnology research, and we look forward to seeing the breakthroughs they will be a part of in the near future.”

 

Students were assessed on the quality of their research, presentation skills and the ability to handle challenging questions regarding their research, scientific knowledge and on the potential commercial and practical applications of their project.

 

The International BioGENEius Challenge is organized by the Biotechnology Institute of Washington, DC. Generous support from sponsors includes the Global Healthcare Challenge sponsor Johnson & Johnson and the International BioGENEius Challenge sponsor, the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO).

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