Twenty youth from across southwestern Ontario competed in Sanofi's BioGENEius Challenge Canada (SBCC) at the University of Guelph on Thursday. The event was hosted by the University of Guelph, in conjunction with the College of Biological Science. The competition encourages highschool youth to pursue research and future careers in the field of biotechnology.
Varsha Jayasankar, a grade 12 student at Sir Winston Churchill in St. Catharine's, was awarded first place for her research testing chemical antibacterials found in mango ginger. As the regional winner, Jayasankar advances to the national finals where she will compete at the National Research Council's headquarters in Ottawa on May 22, 2014.
Varsha is the daughter of Plant Ag professor Jay Subramanian.
Second prize was awarded to Isaac Thevathasan and Anit Bahattachryya, grade 11 students at Centenial CVI in Guelph, who tested the ability of Manuka Honey to boost the effectiveness of antibiotics.
SBCC is sponsored by Sanofi Pasteur Ltd, Sanofi Canada, the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation, York University, the National Research Council Canada, Canadian Institutes of Health Research and Genome Canada.