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iBIO Institute EDUCATE Center Names Oak Park & River Forest HS Senior Illinois BioGENEius Finalist


Lillian Tushman Advances to San Diego to Compete Against Top Students From Across the Nation, Canada and Germany

iBIO Institute EDUCATE Center today named Oak Park and River Forest High School Senior Lillian Tushman of Oak Park as the winner of the 2017 Illinois BioGENEius Challenge, the premier competition for high school students that recognizes outstanding research and innovation in the biotechnology field.  As the Illinois’ BioGENEius finalist, Ms. Tushman will attend the 2017 BIO International Convention in San Diego, the industry’s trade conference, where she will engage with leading companies, scientists and innovators currently transforming the scientific landscape in order to gain invaluable insights into an industry making significant contributions to the world.

While in San Diego, Ms. Tushman will compete against students from the U.S., Canada and Germany in the International BioGENEius Challenge. The projects presented will represent a range of biotechnology topics such as healthcare, agriculture, and the environment.

“The Challenge highlights the breakthroughs made when we invest and encourage our younger generations to pursue their ideas. These students are facing the world’s greatest problems head on and providing solutions to heal, feed, and fuel people and the environment,” said Warren Ribley, iBIO Institute President and CEO. “The Institute is excited to cheer Lillian on in San Diego at the 2017 BIO International Convention as we already know that her research has great potential to help society as well as inspire others to pursue research projects.”

“Our mission is to engage and excite student innovators by creating an environment that allows them to showcase their talents and help accelerate their development as the next-generation of scientists. The BioGENEius Challenges encourage students to apply their scientific knowledge to solve some of society’s most pressing issues through biotechnology, allowing them to see the tremendous potential they have to make change in the world,” said Dr. Lawrence Mahan, President of Biotechnology Institute. “We bring students, mentors and industry leaders together to promote excellence in scientific research from the best and brightest minds in the next generation of biotechnology innovators.”

Lillian Tushman’s project was selected because her novel research focused on an area of high unmet need. Ms. Tushman’s project focused on using C. elegans to detect diabetes mellitus in resource-scarce countries where diabetes is endemic but blood testing is unsafe and impractical due to cost and lack of professionals able to administer tests. 

About her Illinois BioGENEius win Ms. Tushman stated, “I am so excited and honored to represent Illinois in San Diego this June. Undiagnosed diabetes directly causes thousands of preventable deaths every year. We are in dire need of a noninvasive test that can get people in resource scarce environments diagnosed safely and effectively, and I am thrilled the judges saw promise in my idea.”

Winners will be announced during the Tuesday, June 20th keynote at the 2017 BIO International Convention.  The winners will receive a $7,500 cash prize.

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Follow the BioGENEius Challenge: Throughout the challenge, @BiotechInstitute will be tweeting interviews, photos, and engaging with the biotechnology community by using the hashtag #BioGENEius.

About the Biotechnology Institute

The Biotechnology Institute is an independent, national nonprofit organization dedicated to education about the present and future impact of biotechnology.  Its mission is to engage, excite and educate the public, particularly students and teachers, about biotechnology and its immense potential for solving human health, food and environmental problems.  For more information, visit www.biotechinstitute.org.

About iBIO Institute EDUCATE Center

The iBIO Institute is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that focuses on orchestrating business leadership in delivery of world-class, educational programs and job-creating new technology ventures. The Institute’s EDUCATE Center delivers industry-led science and math programs for teachers and students, thereby inspiring the next generation of innovators and helping restore America’s leadership in technology education. EDUCATE’s hands-on, inquiry-based STEM programs have impacted over 1100 teachers and 98,000 Illinois students since 2003.