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Jackson senior is finalist for International BioGENEius Challenge


Last updated 6/1/2018 at Noon

Henry M. Jackson High School senior Sriharshita Musunuri was named one of the 15 finalists for the International BioGENEius Challenge, the premier competition for high school students – from across the world – that recognizes outstanding research in biotechnology.

She will now head to Boston to showcase her research titled “A Novel Point-of-Care Theranostic for Gram-Negative Sepsis: Synthesis and Application of Polymer Nanoparticles for Rapid Endotoxin Capture” in the International BioGENEius Challenge at BIO 2018, which begins June 4.

The Challenge provides young STEM innovators and entrepreneurs a venue to showcase their research and helps them build a long-term support system for converting their dreams into reality.

The winners of the International BioGENEius Challenge will be announced during the keynote address at the 2018 BIO International Convention on Tuesday, June 5, and each winner will receive a $7,500 cash prize.

Feel free to follow along with the competition at @biotechinstitut.

The objective of Sriharshita’s research was threefold:

• Design and determine the most optimal polymer matrix composition for endotoxin imprinting

• Incorporate both diagnostic (fluorescence-based) and therapeutic (LPS-binding) for theranostic applications of endotoxin neutralization

• Enable implementation in developing countries by using low cost, nontoxic, accessible materials to form the polymer.

The majority of the finalists for the International BioGENEius Challenge are chosen from Local BioGENEius Challenges, which take place in 13 states/regions. These include: California Bay Area, SoCal, CO, DE, GA, IL, IA, KS, MD, NM (don’t have a finalist this year), NC, PA, and VA. Students enter into one of three tracks: sustainability, environment, or healthcare (Sriharshita’s track) and one finalist is chosen from each location.

For high school or home schooled students who do not attend a school in a state with a Local Challenge, there is an At-Large BioGENEius Challenge, submitted online, from which one additional finalist is chosen. Sriharshita was this year’s at-large finalist.


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