Amgen Bay Area BioGENEius Heads to the White House

Natalie Ng, the 2013 International BioGENEius Challenge First Place Winner, having placed in the Amgen Bay Area BioGENEius that spring, was one of 100 students invited to the 5th White House Science Fair on March 23rd. President Obama hosted the event, celebrating the student winners of a broad range of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) competitions from across America. Natalie was one of approximately 40 students who presented their projects to an esteemed audience that included President Obama, the heads of NIH and NASA, and Bill Nye.

The first-ever White House Science Fair was hosted by President Obama in 2010, who noted at the time: “If you win the NCAA championship, you come to the White House. Well, if you’re a young person and you produce the best experiment or design, the best hardware or software, you ought to be recognized for that achievement, too.”

Since winning the International BioGENEius Challenge, Natalie’s scientific career has continued to soar, with an internship last summer at Amgen South San Francisco, where she worked in the Genome Analysis Unit on Alzheimer’s Disease.  Natalie participated in both in vitro experiments in cells in culture, as well as bioinformatic analysis of RNA-seq data.  The work was conducted under Amgen’s Director of Research Paul Kassner, PhD.

Natalie entered Stanford University last fall and plans major in physics, which offers “great tools for analyzing biological systems,” according to Natalie. Over the coming summer, Natalie will be adding additional hands-on experience to her research portfolio by interning in a biophysics lab at Stanford. We look forward to watching the ongoing success or our BioGENEius champion!