Monday, April 09, 2012

2012 Virginia State Science and Engineering Fair Awards for Biotechnology

Virginia Bio, in conjunction with the Virginia Bio Foundation, presented awards at the 2012 Virginia State Science and Engineering Fair on Saturday, April 6, 2012, at Old Dominion University in Norfolk. The volunteer judges studied the abstracts prior to their arrival at the Fair and then voted on the top projects to interview one-on-one at the event. Photos from the competition are available here.

"It was hard to choose among so many outstanding projects," said Mark A. Herzog, Virginia Bio executive director. “The judges were extremely impressed by the caliber of the work.”

After talking with each of the students, the judges made their final selections:

First Place: Sachith Gullapalli of Roanoke
Project: "Do nPKC isoforms mediate lipid-induced beta cell dysfunction?"

Second Place: Bina Wasunga Kakusa and Connor Thomas Hann of Fairfax
Project: “Mind Controlled Wheelchair”

Third Place: Andrea Li of Fairfax
Project: “Histone Deacetylase 1: Modification by cAMP-dependent Protein Kinase and Promotion of Recovery from Demyelinating Diseases.”

Congratulations to all of the students for their outstanding projects.

Thank you to our Virginia Bio judges:
David Anderson, Vice President Scientific Affairs, Lyotropic Therapeutics, Inc.
Michael Francis, Research Associate, LifeNet Health
Mark Herzog, Executive Director, Virginia Bio
Eugene Maurakis, Director of Science Education, Science Museum of Virginia
Roy Ogle, Director of Regenerative Medicine, LifeNet Health
Patrick Sachs, Research Associate, LifeNet Health
Silvia Chen, Director of Research, LifeNet Health
Kurt Langenbach, ATCC

The winners are encouraged to apply for the 2012 Virginia BioGENEius Challenge team that will compete at the national challenge in June at the BIO Convention in Washington, DC. The deadline for applications is April 15. For more information, please visit

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