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'Inspiring' teens with 'research virus': Expert-mentored bioscience contest proves a powerful vector
Date:2/20/2013

before then," he says, adding that the most memorable part of the entire adventure was realizing the real impact his research could have on people.

  • At 17, Ted Paranjothy of Winnipeg, Manitoba, inspired by a memory from five years old of a friend who died from leukemia, invested 3,000 research hours over two years after school with a mentor at the University of Manitoba, developing innovative ideas for cancer treatment. Ted's framework for an anti-cancer agent able to kill human cancer cells without harming healthy ones is an innovation on which he now holds a patent.

    His Grade 12 project earned a triple crown of high school biotech science: a first place sweep of the 2007 SBCC regional and national competitions, as well as the Sanofi-sponsored International BioGENEius Challenge -- the only Canadian to achieve that distinction so far. The three first prize cheques totaled $15,000.

    Later awarded some $150,000 in scholarships from other sources, Ted continued work with his distinguished mentor, Dr. Marek Los, and had three papers in peer-reviewed journals by the end of first year at UofM. Now 22, Ted is an independent researcher in cell science at UofM. He credits SBCC with enabling his university graduate-level research while still in high school, and says it "inspired me to pursue a career in biomedical research."

  • In 2011, a trio of Montreal students entered the national SBCC with their new sorbet for vegetarians, having discovered a substitute for animal-based gelatine normally found in the frozen dessert. They won 2nd prize overall, a special award for that year's project with the greatest commercial potential, and a lot of public attention, which helped create connections with several patent lawyers.

    Today, all three are at universities studying science. "The SBCC definitely pushed to me to explore research opportunities in medicine," says one team member, Simon Leclerc, adding that feedback from top scientists
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  • Contact: Terry Collins
    tc@tca.tc
    416-538-8712
    Bioscience Education Canada
    Source:Eurekalert

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