Austin Wang, Grade 11 Student from Vancouver, Recognized for Environmental Biotech

June 16, 2015 – Sanofi Biogenius Canada

Austin Wang, winner of the Global Environment Challenge prize at the 2015 International BioGENEius Challenge, and Jon Fairest, President and CEO, Sanofi Canada

MONTREAL, June 16, 2015 /CNW Telbec/ – Austin Wang, a grade 11 student at Vancouver’s David Thompson Secondary School, has won a prestigious international science award for his innovative research project focusing on renewable energy. Austin was awarded the Global Environment Challenge (industrial & environmental biotech) prize at the annual International BioGENEius Challenge final in Philadelphia today.

Austin’s project titled, Identifying Genes with Roles in Power Output of Exoelectrogenic Bacteria in Microbial Fuel Cells, seeks to identify genes that help bacteria improve their ability to generate electricity in Microbial Fuel Cells (MFCs). The results of this research may eventually contribute to the commercialization of MFC technology.

“Austin achieved great success at the Sanofi Biogenius Canada national final. That he has now won such a prestigious international award reinforces the level of scientific talent in Canada. We are very proud of Austin’s win, and wish him the very best in his future endeavours” said Mark Lievonen, President of Sanofi Pasteur Limited, one of the competition’s two title sponsors.
Austin was selected by industry and academic experts, beating 28 finalists from across the US, Canada and Germany. The Global Environment Challenge (industrial & environmental biotech), recognizes projects seeking to harness bacteria, yeasts and enzymes as sources of renewable energy. The award comes with a cash prize of $7,500 USD.

Organized by the Biotechnology Institute, a U.S. based non-profit organization dedicated to biotechnology education, the International BioGENEius Challenge is the premier international competition for high school students that recognizes outstanding innovation in biotechnology.

About Sanofi –
Sanofi, a global healthcare leader, discovers, develops and distributes therapeutic solutions focused on patients’ needs. Sanofi has core strengths in diabetes solutions, human vaccines, innovative drugs, consumer healthcare, emerging markets, animal health and Genzyme. Sanofi is listed in Paris (EURONEXT: SAN) and in New York (NYSE: SNY).
Sanofi entities in Canada include Sanofi Canada (pharmaceuticals), Sanofi Pasteur (vaccines), Sanofi Consumer Health (cosmeceuticals, over-the-counter products and specialty care), Genzyme (rare diseases) and Merial (animal health). Together they employ close to 1,700 people. In 2014 Sanofi companies invested $130.5 million in R&D in Canada, creating jobs, business and opportunity throughout the country.

About Sanofi Biogenius Canada
Sanofi Biogenius Canada is one of the country’s most prestigious student science competitions, and pairs exceptional young scientists at the high school level with academic mentors to pursue real-world research projects. These enriching partnerships have resulted in many promising breakthroughs predominantly in the life sciences.  The Sanofi Group in Canada is proud to sponsor the Sanofi Biogenius Canada as part of its corporate social responsibility efforts and development of the next generation of Canadian life science research.

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