Monday, April 06, 2009

TJ Students Sweep Biotech Awards at VA State Science Fair

Students from the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology swept the top three awards for Biotechnology at the 2009 Virginia State Science and Engineering Fair on April 4 in the Patriot Center at George Mason University, in Fairfax, Virginia.

"TJ is an amazing school but it had never swept all of the awards before," said Mark A. Herzog, executive director of the Virginia Biotechnology Association. "The judges make their decision on the merits of the projects and we only found out later that TJ students won all three awards."

The Biotechnology awards were presented by judges from the Virginia Biotechnology Association (VaBIO) in partnership with the Chesapeake Bioscience Education Foundation (C-BEF).

First place went to Anirundh Mohan, a junior from the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology. His project was entitled, "Synthesis and Characterization of Biomarker-Harvesting Hydrogel Nanoparticles."

Second place went to LeeAnn Li, a senior from the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology. Her project was "The Significant Role of p70 Ribosomal S6 Kinase in Regulating Mouse Embryonic Stem Cell Cardiomyogenesis."

Third place also went to a student from TJ. Jessica Liu, a senior, rounded out the awards with her project entitled, "The Role of CREB in the Downregulation of Cyclin D1 by Tumor-Suppressor RASSF1A."

In addition to winning the Biotech Award, LeeAnn Li won the over-all "Best in Show" award as well as first place in Cellular and Microbiology.

Judges for the Biotechnology Awards for 2009 were Dan Roberts, Chris Farabaugh and Brendan Stitcher of Covance Laboratories. Also judging were Matt Latimer of Latimer, Mayberry & Matthews IP Law, LLP and Mark Herzog, executive director of VaBIO.

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