2013 Maryland BioGENEius Challenge names finalists

The MdBio Foundation recently named Havisha Garimella and Joy Zeng as the finalists of the 2013 Maryland BioGENEius Challenge, a premier national competition for high school students which recognized superb research in biotechnology.

Garimella, a junior from Mount Hebron High School and Zeng, a senior from Poolseville High School, submitted outstanding projects based on unique research, and thus won the competition.

Garimella's research, titled Protein Assemblies in Health and in Diseases: Biological AFM and Related Studies, focused on how key proteins impact people with Alzheimer's disease. Zeng's research, titled Targeted Thermal Ablation of Cancer Cells using Biosurfactant Functionalized Carbon nanotubes, studied nanoparticle-assisted photothermal therapy as a potential cure for cancer.

"What makes this competition even more powerful is that Joy and Havisha's current and future research has an opportunity to make a significant contribution to the world around us," MdBio Foundation CEO Brian Gaines said. "MdBio Foundation will be cheering them on later this month as they compete at the 2013 BIO International Convention."

Garimella and Zeng will receive an all-expense paid trip to Chicago to attend the 2013 BIO International Convention, where they'll compete with other students from across the U.S. and interact with some of the industry's leading companies, scientists and innovators. Zeng and Garimella also received $400 and $250 cash prizes, respectively.

"We are honored to be running the BioGENEius Challenge in Maryland for the first time, and were overwhelmed with the overall quality and sophistication of research submitted by twelve students who participated," Gaines said. "From research to cure cancer and HIV, to examinations of multi-drug resistance and dopamine detection solutions, these students impressed us with their passion for pursuing a future career in the life sciences."