NCSSM Student Reaches BioGENEius Finals
Sajith Wickramasekara, a student at the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics in Durham, is one of two Southeastern regional finalists in an international competition of high school biotechnology research projects, held in Atlanta on Monday.
Wickramasekara and the other regional finalist, Johnny Fells III of Georgia, were competing in the Sanofi-Aventis International BioGENEius Challenge, conducted by the Arlington, Va.-based Biotechnology Institute.
The international science fair highlights biotechnology research by high-school students in healthcare, agriculture and forestry, food processing, mining and the environment, and forensics.
Last year's BioGENEius is Mingjuan "Lisa" Jhang. The former NCSSM student's research was on increasing yield and flexibility of plastic while reducing its production cost.
Wickramasekara's entry is entitled, "A functional genomic framework for chemotherapeutic drug improvement and identification."
Wickramasekara and Fells will compete in the international finals during the Biotechnology Industry Organization's annual international conference May 18 through 21, also in Atlanta.
Giovanni Leon, of Raleigh's East Wake School of Health Science, made this year's semifinals with his project entitled "Differential Incorporation of Cholesterol by Sindbis Virus Grown Delipidated Insect Cells."