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Contact: Rick Levick
Bioscience Education Canada

Sanofi BioGENEius Challenge Canada invites high school students to join 2013 competition

Canada-wide campaign launched to find curious, talented youth

TORONTO, ON, Sept. 25, 2012 – After 19 years of competition, the Sanofi BioGENEius Challenge Canada (SBCC) prepares to cross its two-decade milestone. For 20 years, the competition has fostered research and collaboration between top academic mentors and over 4,000 high school whiz kids from across the country.

Sanofi BioGENEius Challenge Canada 2013 competitions will be held in nine regions across the country in late March followed by a final national competition of the regional first place teams in Ottawa in April. Judges from each region will select the top winners who will compete at the national competition in Ottawa. Not only does the SBCC award cash prizes, but it also gives students an invaluable experience working with mentors at the top of their field.

Asking students "how will you change the world?", the competition encourages high school students to pursue research goals and dreams, and facilitates those goals by pairing entrants with university scholars who act as mentors, the only program to do so. This opportunity is available to all high school and CEGEP students across Canada. As the competition grows and continues into its 20th anniversary, students are encouraged to participate in the SBCC 2013 competition to showcase their academic talent. Students, teachers and parents should go to the website for more information about participating in the SBCC 2013.

According to a survey of past participants conducted by Bioscience Education Canada, which manages the SBCC program, 84 percent said that participating in past BioGENEius competitions proved helpful in determining their current field of study or in forming their career plans. As well, the survey found that nearly 74 percent are pursuing further education or careers in the fast-growing field of biotechnology in the areas of biosciences or health sciences.

The top winners of the SBCC 2012 National competition, Janelle Tam, 16 from Waterloo Collegiate Institute, Waterloo, Ontario and Rui Song, 16 from Walter Murray Collegiate in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, carried out research in very different areas. Janelle discovered that a versatile nano-particle in trees is a powerful anti-aging, health-promoting antioxidant while Rui worked to develop new scientific insights into the potential creation of a more nutritious lentil. Rui Song would go on to win third place at the International competition in Boston.

"We founded the Sanofi BioGENEius Challenge Canada because we recognize the importance of our youth when it comes to the future of the biotechnology industry in Canada. We believe that not only does this program benefit the life sciences industry, but Canada as a whole. It is with initiatives like the SBCC that we hope will inspire young students to pursue careers in science and biotechnology," said Mark Lievonen, President, Sanofi Pasteur Limited.


About the Sanofi BioGENEius Challenge Canada (SBCC)

The Sanofi BioGENEius Challenge Canada (SBCC) is a national, biotechnology research competition that encourages high school and CEGEP students to pursue future studies and careers in the exciting field of biotechnology. Coordinated by Bioscience Education Canada since its beginning in 1993, the initiative is sponsored by Sanofi Pasteur Limited, Sanofi Canada, Genzyme Canada, the National Research Council Canada/Conseil national de recherches Canada (NRC-CNRC), Canadian Institutes of Health Research/Instituts de recherche en santé du Canada (CIHR-IRSC), Genome Canada and York University. Canada's respected Sanofi BioGENEius Challenge Canada has inspired counterpart competitions in the USA and Australia.

For more information, please visit www.sanofibiogeneiuschallenge.ca, follow us on Facebook or Twitter @BioscienceEdCan #SBCC2013

Media Contacts:

Bioscience Education Canada
Tel.: 416.640.0206

Candace HUNTLY
Tel.: 416.944.2145

Martine VENNE
CASACOM Montreal
Tel: 514.286.2145 ext.228