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CLSA Wire

Cupertino Student Wins International Science Competition

CHICAGO, ILL. – April 23, 2013 – Monta Vista High School junior Natalie Ng was declared the winner of the 2013 International BioGENEius Challenge, the premier competition for high school students that recognizes outstanding research in biotechnology.  Ng secured the victory at the 2013 BIO International Convention in Chicago, the industry’s trade conference. Two other students from California placed second and third.

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

While in Chicago, Ng competed against students from across the country in the U.S. National BioGENEius Challenge. Irvine’s Jiho Park placed second and San Diego’s Eric Chen placed third. In total, four students from California were among 14 students from the U.S., Canada and Australia competing in the International BioGENEius Challenge.

“Through her current and future research, Ng has an opportunity to make a significant contribution to the world around us.  BayBio and the BayBio Institute were pleased to cheer on Ng at the 2013 BIO International Convention this April,” said Lori Lindburg, the BayBio Institute’s executive director.

The BioGENEius Challenge is organized by the Biotechnology Institute, the national organization dedicated to biotechnology education.  Generous co-lead supporters of the Challenge include Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of leading global pharmaceutical company Sanofi, and Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson. The Amgen Bay Area BioGENEius Challenge is organized by the BayBio Institute with generous support from Amgen.

To qualify for the trip to Chicago, Ng had to be one of two finalists in the Amgen Bay Area BioGENEius Challenge. Ng’s project was selected because her research focuses on advancing precision medicine. Ng identified prognostic signatures predictive of breast cancer metastasis. Her experiments correlated microRNA expression and in-vitro metastatic characteristics.

The first place winner in the International competition received a $7,500 cash prize, the second place winner received $5,000, the third place winner received $2,500 and the fourth place winner will receive $1,000.  As the first place winner in the Amgen Bay Area BioGENEius Challenge, Ng received a $2,000 cash prize.

In addition to Sanofi Pasteur and Janssen, 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 proudly sponsored by Amgen.