Local BioGENEius Winner Takes Top Honors In International Ring

A Bay Area student secured first place at the International BioGENEius Challenge during BIO in Chicago and California students swept the top three spots.

Each year, high school students across the nation compete in a prestigious science competition, the International BioGENEius Challenge, organized by the Biotechnology Institute.  This year, Natalie Ng, a junior from Monta Vista High School in Cupertino took first place. In addition to Ng, Irvine’s Jiho Park placed second and San Diego’s Eric Chen placed third.

International BioGENEius champion Natalie Ng during her presentation to judges.
International BioGENEius champion Natalie Ng during her presentation to judges.

Ng took second place in the Amgen Bay Area BioGENEius Challenge.  We were thrilled to watch Ng win the entire competition against 13 other students from the U.S., Canada and Australia.

The Amgen Bay Area BioGENEius Challenge recognizes outstanding research in biotechnology and applauds students like Ng who are investigating big ideas as a means to solve some of the most complex health, environmental and sustainability challenges facing our world today.  Supporters like Amgen encourage young minds to explore a future in science.

The competition not only provides young Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) innovators and entrepreneurs a venue to showcase their research, but it also builds a long-term support system for converting their dreams into reality.

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 unbound inspiration and first-hand experience on what a dynamic future career in the industry can encompass.

With younger generations growing increasingly civic-minded and looking to affect their communities by finding first-rate solutions to food, climate and health challenges, the BioGENEius Challenge nurtures the best, smartest and most skilled workers who aim to tackle these issues and pursue a career in biotechnology.

We also want to recognize the 28 other students who participated. Irvington High School junior Kevin Chen placed third in the Amgen Bay Area BioGENEius Challenge. Senior Aryo Sorayya (Monta Vista), senior Brooke Vittimberga (Campolindo High School), and junior Molly Vora (Monta Vista) received honorable mentions from the judges.

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.

The BioGENEius Challenge provides a platform for students excelling in biotechnology to compete in other rigorous and esteemed competitions. Past participants and winners have gone on to compete in Intel’s International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) as well as in the Science Talent Search (STS).

Supporting competitions, such as the BioGENEius Challenge, helps secure a way forward in addressing future challenges the world faces by building a cohort of innovative stewards developing ways to cure disease, protect against bio-terrorism, feed the hungry, and clean our environment.

Sanofi Pasteur and Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson are the generous lead sponsors of the Challenge.  Additional support for the BioGENEius Challenge is provided by International Supporters: The Astellas Foundation, Genentech and MedImmune; and U.S. National Supporters: Acorda Therapeutics, The Allergan Foundation, BioMarin and Sangamo BioSciences. The Amgen Bay Area BioGENEius Challenge is sponsored by Amgen.

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