2006 Wistar Institute High School Biology Essay Contest Winners Named

2006 Wistar Institute High School Biology Essay Contest Winners Named

June 7, 2006

(Philadelphia – June 8, 2006) – The three winners and three runners-up in the 2006 Wistar Institute High School Biology Essay Contest will receive their prizes at a ceremony on Thursday, June 8, at 6:30 p.m. at the Institute. In addition, the 2006 class of eight high-school students named as Wistar Institute Summer Fellows will be announced. The Honorable James R. Roebuck, Pennsylvania Representative for the 188th District, will preside over the ceremony.

The grand prize winner this year is Zach Carduner, who will read his winning essay “Identification of the Fear Gene, Stathmin” at the ceremony. Carduner is a student at Central High School. In addition to his award of $500, Carduner’s school wins a $500 award for laboratory and teaching supplies.

Second prize goes to Shadiyah Haines for the essay “The Power of Hypnosis.” Haines is a student at Roxborough High School. A $250 award accompanies Haines’s prize.

Third prize goes to Manjima Dhar for “Invention of the Century.” Dhar, a student at J.R. Masterman High School, will receive a $100 award.

The three runners-up are: Robin Kanak, Creative and Performing Arts High School, “Help in the Midst of Depression”; Sudarshan Kandi, Northeast High School, “Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD)”; and Brittany McClain, Parkway Gamma/Cobbs Creek Community Environmental Education Center, “Mad Cow Disease.” Each runner-up will receive a $50 prize.

The annual contest, supported by The Hassel Foundation, is sponsored by The Wistar Institute to promote science education and encourage the pursuit of science careers by young Philadelphians. Open to all high school students in the Philadelphia School District, the contest was established in 1994 as part of Wistar’s centennial celebration. A committee of Wistar researchers judges the contest each year.

Students submitting essays to the contest are asked to emphasize the most recent findings in a given area of biomedical science and to describe how these findings have contributed to the progress of research in that area. They also are asked to describe the benefits of the research for the general population. Nearly 250 students entered this year.

The Wistar Institute Summer Fellowship Program in Biomedical Research for High School Students is sponsored by the Hassel Foundation and GlaxoSmithKline. The aim of the program is to promote science education and encourage young people to consider careers in science. The fellowships run for eight weeks during the summer and are available to high school students in the Philadelphia School District. Launched in 1994, the program gives students the opportunity to become directly involved in experimental biological research projects at the bench level. During the course of the summer, students work on active research projects in areas such as cancer genetics or vaccine development.

The eight 2006 Wistar Institute Summer Fellows are: Ryan Bradwell, Marianna Bracetti Academy Charter School; Yu-Chung Chau, Northeast High School; Jaimy Joy, Central High School; Sudarshan Kandi; Northeast High School; Laila Kazi, Creative and Performing Arts High School; Christella Lewis, Overbrook High School; and Steven Suway and Sean Troyer, William Penn Charter School.

For more information about the Wistar Institute’s programs for high school students, visit: http://www.wistar.org/education_training/high_school.html.

The Wistar Institute is an independent nonprofit biomedical research institution dedicated to discovering the causes and cures for major diseases, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, autoimmune disorders, and infectious diseases, such as AIDS and influenza. Founded in 1892 as the first institution of its kind in the nation, The Wistar Institute today is a National Cancer Institute-designated Cancer Center focused on basic and translational research. Discoveries at Wistar have led to the creation of vaccines for such diseases as rabies, rubella, and rotavirus; significant insights into the mechanisms of skin, brain, breast, lung, and prostate cancers; and the development of monoclonal antibodies and other significant research technologies and tools. The Wistar Institute: Today’s Discoveries – Tomorrow’s Cures. On the web at www.wistar.org.