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iBIO Institute Announces Winner of “Illinois BioGENEius Challenge” Student Competition

Winner moves on to compete in the International Competition this summer for a chance to win a cash prize

CHICAGO – April 11, 2018 – Today, Haley Martens from Oak Park River Forest High School took first place at the Illinois BioGENEius Challenge, an annual student science and research competition hosted by the iBIO Institute EDUCATE Center and sponsored by Horizon Pharma.

Martens was selected from among 26 Illinois high school students for her research titled, “The Effect of Ibuprofen on Tail Regeneration in Axolotls.” This year, students from across the state submitted projects that researched medical, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology. These projects had to align with one of the three challenge areas: global healthcare, global sustainability or global environment. A number of Horizon employees served as the judges for the competition.

Participants hailed from Oak Park River Forest High School, Lake Forest Academy, Whitney M. Young Magnet High School, Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy, Niles West High School and York Community High School.

“The BioGENEius competition provides students with a unique opportunity to create research that could one day benefit society in a new way,” said Ann Vogel, senior vice president of the iBIO Institute EDUCATE Center. “We look forward to rooting on Haley in the International Competition taking place in a few months.”

Martens will go on to represent Illinois in the International BioGENEius Competition on June 4 at the BIO Convention in Boston. The top three competitors will receive cash prizes. The International BioGENEius Competition brings together the best and brightest students from the United States and other countries and is regarded as the most prestigious high school sciences competition in the world for original research in biotechnology.

“These students never cease to amaze us every year with their thought-provoking and well-researched projects,” said Holly Copeland, director of public affairs and corporate social responsibility at Horizon Pharma. “It’s great to see the passion these students and teachers have for the life sciences. Opportunities like the BioGENEius Competition allow students to apply their classroom learning toward solving real-world problems.”