Manitoba’s young science prodigies recognized at Sanofi Biogenius Canada regional final
Dennis Drewnik from Sisler High School, Winnipeg has earned top honours at the Manitoba edition of the prestigious Sanofi Biogenius Canada (SBC) competition. Dennis was chosen by the judges for his research project which focused on how to manipulate the genetics of plants to help them defeat deadly or weakening plant disease, completed with the support of mentor Mark Belmonte, associate professor, department of biological sciences at the University of Manitoba.
“I am truly honoured to win such a prestigious award and to have been selected from among such a talented group. I’d like to thank Professor Belmonte for all his guidance and support, and look forward to presenting my work to the judges at the Canadian final in May,” said Dennis Drewnik.
One of the country’s most prestigious student competitions, Sanofi Biogenius Canada pairs exceptional young scientists with academic mentors to pursue real-world research projects, and participants have produced many promising scientific breakthroughs.
The runners-up of the SBC 2015 Manitoba regional final:
Second prize went to Breanna Belisle, a grade 12 student at Fort Richmond High School, Winnipeg for her project exploring the possibility of reducing damage to the heart following cardiac injury through the regulation of gene “action”, the method by which genes exert their effect on tissues or processes.
Third prize went to Justin Lin, a grade 10 student at St. John’s Ravenscourt School, Winnipeg for his project exploring whether cholesterol medication in the form of Statin drugs can be effective in treating fibrosis (the thickening and scarring of connective tissue) in the heart muscle.
Dennis Drewnik will now progress to the SBC 2015 National Final in Ottawa on May 25 and 26. There, winners of all nine regional SBC competitions will submit their work to a panel of Canada’s per-eminent scientists for a chance at winning the top prize: a place at the 2015 International BioGENEius Challenge in Philadelphia this coming June. Dennis also receives a cash prize of $5,000, a portion of which will go to Sisler High School in Winnipeg. Runners-up in this year’s SBC Manitoba regional competition were also awarded cash prizes in value from $1,000 to $4,000.
About the Sanofi Biogenius Challenge (SBC)
Sanofi Biogenius Canada is a national science research competition open to high school students, which since 1992, has helped almost 4,000 young Canadians pursue real-world scientific research projects that have been the launch pads to future studies and careers. Coordinated by Partners In Research, the initiative is sponsored by Sanofi Pasteur Limited, Sanofi Canada, the Ontario Government (Ministry of Research & Innovation), York University, 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) and Genome Canada.