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AHS Senior Helen Liu Named One of 15 Finalists for the Biogeneius Challenge

 The Biogeneius Challenge, the premier competition for high school students – from across the world – recognizes outstanding research in biotechnology. Helen will now head to San Francisco to compete in the International BioGENEius Challenge at BIO 2016, the international convention for the biotech industry, to showcase her research on a new treatment for Gaucher Disease (GD), which causes anemia, brittle bones and organ enlargement. She isolated a specific protein and engineered a molecule from it to create a novel drug therapy, significantly reducing cost of GD treatment.

The Challenge provides young STEM innovators and entrepreneurs a venue to showcase their research, in addition to helping them build a long-term support system for converting their dreams into reality. Helen will be in the running to win the first place cash prize of $7,500 while in San Francisco.

The Biotechnology Institute announced the 15 student finalists competing at the International BioGENEius Challenge at the 2016 Biotechnology Industry Convention (BIO2016). The BioGENEius Challenge is the premier competition for high school students from across the globe that recognizes outstanding research and innovation in biotechnology. Students will be recognized for their efforts in three different Challenge tracks – global healthcare, sustainability and the environment. Finalists from each track will join industry professionals at the BIO International Convention.

On June 6th, all finalists will participate in rigorous judging during the International BioGENEius Challenge. During the competition, students will present highly advanced and innovative research projects that address a variety of real world challenges – including unmet medical needs in cardiometabolic disorders, Parkinson’s, diabetes, inflammation, cancer, and HIV, as well as environmental issues surrounding nitrates, organics, and enhanced production of high value food sources.

“The extraordinary research we see during the BioGENEius Challenge underscores the importance of investing and encouraging our younger generations to pursue their ideas.” said Dr. Lawrence Mahan, President of the Biotechnology Institute. “The sophistication of research skill that this year’s finalists display given their level of education and stage of career is phenomenal. It is our mission at the Institute to not just showcase their talents, but to foster the efforts of future BioGENEius candidates to challenge their innovative ability.”

The BioGENEius Challenge is organized by the Biotechnology Institute, a U.S. based organization dedicated to biotechnology education. Generous support from major sponsors include Global Healthcare Challenge and Premier sponsor Johnson & Johnson Innovation and the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) as well as this year’s National sponsors Genentech, Pfizer, PhRMA, and Sangamo BioSciences.

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