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Ga Bio Names the 2014 Georgia BioGENEius Finalist

Monday, March 31, 2014   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Angela King
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ATLANTA, GA, March 31, 2014 – Georgia Bio today named Douglas County High School Junior, Kayla Evans as the winner of the 2014 Georgia BioGENEius Challenge, the premier competition for high school students that recognizes outstanding research in biotechnology. Next up: Kayla will be granted insider access to the biotechnology industry through her attendance at the 2014 BIO International Convention in San Diego, CA, the industry’s trade conference, where leading companies, scientists and innovators will offer Kayla first-hand experience on what a dynamic career in the industry can encompass.
While in San Diego, CA, Kayla will compete against students from across the country in the U.S. National BioGENEius Challenge. If named a finalist, she will go on to compete against a select number of students from the U.S., Canada and Australia in the International BioGENEius Challenge. Each stage of the competition will take place in San Diego, CA during the 2014 BIO International Convention.
“At a time when the U.S. is struggling to engage students in the sciences, the BioGENEius Challenge has found a way to encourage those students who are excited about biotechnology to reach for the next level,” said Jeffrey Almond, Ph.D., Vice President for Discovery Research at Sanofi Pasteur. “We are thrilled to participate in a program that cultivates young, innovative minds to address our global challenges in new ways.”
“Through the BioGENEius Challenge, students gain an appreciation for the fascinating aspects of scientific experimentation and the tremendous potential for biotechnology to continue to address some of the most pressing issues of our time,” added Jay P. Siegel, M.D., Chief Biotechnology Officer and Head of Global Regulatory Affairs, Janssen Research & Development, LLC. “It is our expectation that this program will draw bright young people into the endeavor of biotechnology and help accelerate the development of the next-generation of scientific leaders.”
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.
Kayla Evan’s project is entitled, TIP150: A Possible Microtubule-Actin Linker and Mediator of Breast Cancer Cell Migration.
“Through her current and future research, Kayla has an opportunity to make a significant contribution to the world around us. Georgia Bio will be cheering on Kayla at the 2014 BIO International Convention this June,” said Georgia Bio President and CEO, Russell Allen.
Georgia Bio would also like to congratulate the first runner-up, William Jin of the Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science and Technology for his outstanding project entitled, Developing Novel Protein Targets for Bordetella Pertussis Antibiotics: Understanding Protein Interfaces and Domain-Domain Interactions. William and all of the competitors presented engaging and innovative projects.
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. 
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.
About the Biotechnology Institute
The Biotechnology Institute is an independent, national nonprofit organization dedicated to education about the present and future impact of biotechnology. Its mission is to engage, excite and educate the public, particularly students and teachers, about biotechnology and its immense potential for solving human health, food and environmental problems. For more information, visit
About Sanofi Pasteur
Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of Sanofi, provides more than 1 billion doses of vaccine each year, making it possible to immunize more than 500 million people across the globe. A world leader in the vaccine industry, Sanofi Pasteur offers the broadest range of vaccines protecting against 20 infectious diseases. The company's heritage, to create vaccines that protect life, dates back more than a century. Sanofi Pasteur is the largest company entirely dedicated to vaccines. Every day, the company invests more than EUR 1 million in research and development. For more information, please visit: or
About Janssen
At Janssen Research & Development, LLC, we are dedicated to addressing and solving some of the most important unmet medical needs of our time in oncology, immunology, neuroscience, infectious diseases and vaccines, and cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. Driven by our commitment to patients, we develop innovative products, services and healthcare solutions to help people throughout the world. For more information, please visit:
About Georgia Bio
Georgia Bio is the private, non-profit association that promotes the life sciences industry and university research in Georgia. Members include pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device companies, research universities and institute, medical centers, government groups and other business organizations working to improve the health and well-being of people, animals and the environment. Learn more at

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