News Archives

05/23/2014

 

2014 Sanofi BioGENEius Challenge Canada (SBCC) Highlights Newest Crop of Young Scientists

 

OTTAWA, May 23, 2014 – A novel method of HIV detection for newborns under the age of 18 months and for adults before three months post-transmission earned a grade 10, British Columbia student top national honours today in the 2014 “Sanofi BioGENEius Challenge Canada” (SBCC).

 

Nicole Ticea, 15, from York House School in Burnaby, BC was awarded the top prize of $5,000 by a panel of eminent Canadian scientists assembled at the Ottawa headquarters of the National Research Council of Canada (NRC). 

 

Her impressive research project, mentored at Simon Fraser University by associate professor, Dr. Mark Brockman, is the first test capable of analyzing HIV viral nucleic acids in a point-of-care, low-resource setting. Nicole’s research, was deemed an incredibly innovative solution to a global challenge according to the judges led by Dr. Julie Ducharme, General Manager, Human Health Therapeutics, NRC.

See a full project description below and online here: http://sanofibiogeneiuschallenge.ca/2014/05/23/

 

Ten brilliant young scientists from nine Canadian regions, all just 15 to 18 years old, took part in the national finals. They had placed first at earlier regional SBCC competitions, conducted between March 27 and May 22, 2014.

 

High school and CEGEP students from Victoria to Saskatoon to St. John’s, focused on biotechnology fields of discovery and study, submitted more than 200 proposals. Working closely with mentors, these students conducted research in diverse areas such as telomeres, diabetes, stress management, Alzheimer’s, autism and pulp production. Since its inauguration in 1994, more than 4,700 young Canadians have competed in SBCC, with the majority of competitors going on to pursue careers in science and biotechnology.

 

1st place winner, Nicole Ticea will compete for Canada on June 22-25 at the International BioGENEius Challenge, conducted at the annual BIO conference in San Diego, CA.

 

2nd place, $4,000 – Ontario: Varsha Jayasankar, 17, grade 12, Sir Winston Churchill Secondary School, St. Catherines won with research into how an extract created from mango ginger can be used to inhibit the growth of multiple antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Project description: http://sanofibiogeneiuschallenge.ca/2014/05/23/

 

3rd place, $3,000 – Ontario: Anoop Manjunath, 17, grade 11, University of Toronto Schools, Toronto investigated image processing techniques for the analysis of ultrasound stimulated bubble interactions with fibrin clots. Project description: http://sanofibiogeneiuschallenge.ca/2014/05/23/

 

4th place, $2,000 – Manitoba: Ryan Wang,18, grade 12, St. John’s-Ravenscourt School, Winnipeg, found that a protein called scleraxis is directly involved in cardiac fibrosis, which is characterized by the stiffening of the heart muscles. Project description: http://sanofibiogeneiuschallenge.ca/2014/05/23/

 

5th place, $1,000 – Quebec: Julien Sénécal, 18, 1st year CEGEP, Collège Jean-de-Brébeuf, Montreal, used the defense system of the Streptococcus pyogenes bacteria to inhibit the replication of HIV-1) Project description: http://sanofibiogeneiuschallenge.ca/2014/05/23/

    

SBCC 2014 National Winners, from left to right: Julien Sénécal, Varsha
Jayasankar, Anoop Manjunath, Nicole Ticea, & Ryan Wang.

 

Sanofi Canada President and CEO Jon Fairest, who presented the top national prize, said, "The Sanofi Group is very proud to be founding sponsors of the Sanofi BioGENEius Challenge Canada and participate in this inspiring competition. With its 21-year heritage, the SBCC shows how critical partnerships are to advance science and talent in Canada. From the mentoring provided by dedicated academics, to the support of government and the private sector, the SBCC truly stands out as a model for collaboration. The program is one response to Canada’s national priority of encouraging skills development, education and jobs in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) fields.”

 

The SBCC gives young scientists access to professional labs and academic mentors, encouraging the pursuit of future studies and careers in the country’s fast-growing biotechnology sector.

 

Each of the students worked for months conducting research and collaborating with university mentors.

 

1st Place Project Title: Isothermal Nucleic Acid Amplification System for Point-of-Care HIV Diagnosis. The project presents a novel method of HIV detection in developing countries. The test is capable of diagnosing HIV in newborns under the age of 18 months and for adults before three months post-transmission. It is the first test capable of analyzing HIV viral nucleic acids in a point-of-care, low-resource setting.

 

The nine final national projects were presented at NRC headquarters Friday, May 23 to a panel of eminent Canadian scientists:

  • Dr. Julie Ducharme, General Manager, Human Health Therapeutics, National Research Council
  • Dr. Pierre Meulien, President, Genome Canada
  • Ms. Jessie McAlpine, SBCC Alumna, Student at University of Toronto
  • Dr. Jim Richards, Director, Better Vaccine High-Risk Population, Human Health Therapeutics, National Research Council
  • Dr. Robert Tsushima, Associate Dean, Research and Partnerships, Faculty of Science, York University



 

National Awards Presenters included :

 

  • MC – Senator Joseph A. Day
  • MC – Denise  Amyot, President and ceo of the Association of Canadian Community Colleges
  • VROC Expert Participation Awards – Brent Peltola
  • SBCC commercialization Award – Karimah Es Sabar, CEO and president of the Centre for Drug Research and Development
  • 5th Place - Ms. Jessie MacAlpine, SBCC alumna
  • 4th Place - Pierre Meulien, Genome Canada
  • 3rd Place - Dr. Jim Richards, NRC
  • 2nd Place - Kevin Cougler, Partners In Research
  • 1st Place– Jon  Fairest, Sanofi Canada President and CEO

 

 

About the Sanofi BioGENEius Challenge Canada (SBCC)

The Sanofi BioGENEius Challenge Canada (SBCC) is a national, biotechnology research competition that encourages high school and CEGEP students to pursue future studies and careers in the exciting field of biotechnology. 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.

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Media Contacts:

Andrea Mancini

CASACOM

amancini@casacom.ca

Tel: 416-944-2145

 

Anne Ramsay

Partners In Research

aramsay@pirweb.org

Tel: 519-433-7866

 

For more information, please visit www.sanofibiogeneiuschallenge.ca, follow us on Facebook or Twitter at https://twitter.com/@SBCCDBSC hashtag: #SBCC2014

05/13/2014

 

21st annual SBCC National Awards take place in Ottawa on May 23, 2014

 

 

TORONTO, ON, May 13, 2014 – After months of preparation, research and collaboration with top university mentors, an elite group of 10 young scientists from across the country will be in Ottawa May 22, 2014 competing for Canada’s ultimate student biotechnology science prizes in the 2014 Sanofi BioGENEius Challenge Canada (SBCC).

 

Over 4,700 high school and CEGEP students have participated in the “Sanofi BioGENEius Challenge Canada” since its inception 21 years ago. The SBCC varies from other science competitions as students are given access to high quality lab equipment and are paired with mentors. For the last 21 years, the competition has been giving aspiring young scientists the chance to develop research that can lead them towards a career in science, making it a win for all of those involved.

 

The National SBCC Awards ceremony will be held on May 23, 2014, at 7pm EDT, at the Ottawa Conference and Event Centre.

 

In total judges chose nine cutting-edge biotechnology research projects from the 126 projects that competed across Canada.  Now in its 21th year, the SBCC gives young scientists access to university labs and academic mentors, encouraging the pursuit of future studies and careers in the country’s fast-growing biotechnology sector. 

 

"Even after more than 20 years of the SBCC, I am simply astounded by the life-changing discoveries that these young students make, and the power of science,” said Mark Lievonen, President, Sanofi Pasteur Limited, which originally founded the event. “Thanks to the collaboration between industry, government and academia, the SBCC fosters a culture of innovation in Canada, ultimately accelerating Canadian competitiveness and productivity. Programs like this are essential to shaping and cultivating the next generation of leaders.”

 

This year’s regional finalists:

 

  • Nicole Ticea, York House School, Vancouver, BC, “Isothermal Nucleic Acid Amplification System for Point-of-Care HIV Diagnosis”
  • Jessica Wickware, Harry Ainlay High School, Edmonton, AB, “Tumor Origami: A Three-Dimensional Visualization of Drug Resistance in Malignant Tumors”
  • Amy Wang & WenYu Ruan, Walter Murray Collegiate, Saskatoon, SK, “Identification of Leaf Rust Resistance in Wheat”
  • Ryan Wang, St. John’s Ravenscourt School, Winnipeg, MB, “Identification and functional characterization of putative phosphorylation sites on scleraxis”
  • Varsha Jayasankar, Sir Winston Churchill Secondary School, St. Catharines, ON, “Identification of Novel Broad-Spectrum Antimicrobial Compounds in Curcuma Amada”
  • Anoop Manjunath, University of Toronto Schools, Toronto, ON, “Image Processing Techniques for the Analysis of Ultrasound Stimulated Bubble Interactions with Fibrin Clots”
  • Amit Scheer, Colonel By Secondary School, Ottawa, ON, “Development of a Novel Quantum Dot-Aptamer Bioconjugate Targeted Cancer Therapy for Precision Nanomedicine Applications”
  • Julien Sénécal, Collège Jean-de-Brébeuf, Montreal, QC, “Inhibition of HIV-1 Replication Cycle with the CRISPR/Cas9 System”
  • Mark Hewitt, Bishops College High School, St. John’s, NFLD, “Can Popular Acne Treatments Stimulate or Exacerbate Cancer Growth?”

 

The project finalists will be judged on May 22, 2014 at the headquarters of the National Regional Council by a panel of pre-eminent Canadian scientists:

 

  • Dr. Julie Ducharme, General Manager, Human Health Therapeutics, National Research Council
  • Dr. Pierre Meulien, President, Genome Canada
  • Ms. Jessie McAlpine, SBCC Alumna, Student at University of Toronto
  • Dr. Jim Richards, Director, Better Vaccine High-Risk Population, Human Health Therapeutics, National Research Council
  • Dr. Robert Tsushima, Associate Dean, Research and Partnerships, Faculty of Science, York University

 

In addition to their regional competition winnings, Canada’s 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th place national winners will receive $5,000, $4,000, $3,000, $2,000 and $1,000 respectively.  A special $1,000 prize is awarded to the project deemed by the judges to have the greatest commercial value. The top single person project advances to the Sanofi-sponsored International BioGENEius Challenge to be held in San Diego, CA June 20-24, 2014, in conjunction with the BIO Annual International Convention.

 

About the Sanofi BioGENEius Challenge Canada (SBCC)

The Sanofi BioGENEius Challenge Canada (SBCC) is a national, biotechnology research competition that encourages high school and CEGEP students to pursue future studies and careers in the exciting field of biotechnology. 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.

 

For more information, please visit www.sanofibiogeneiuschallenge.ca, follow us on Facebook or Twitter at https://twitter.com/@SBCCDBSC hashtag: #SBCC2014

 

About Sanofi

Sanofi, an integrated global healthcare leader, discovers, develops and distributes therapeutic solutions focused on patients’ needs. Sanofi has core strengths in the field of healthcare with seven growth platforms: diabetes solutions, human vaccines, innovative drugs, consumer healthcare, emerging markets, animal health and the new Genzyme. Sanofi is listed in Paris (EURONEXT: SAN) and in New York (NYSE: SNY).

 

Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of Sanofi, provides more than 1 billion doses of vaccine each year, making it possible to immunize more than 500 million people across the globe. A world leader in the vaccine industry, Sanofi Pasteur offers the broadest range of vaccines protecting against 20 infectious diseases. The company's heritage, to create vaccines that protect life, dates back more than a century. Sanofi Pasteur is the largest company entirely dedicated to vaccines. Every day, the company invests more than EUR 1 million in research and development. For more information, please visit: www.sanofipasteur.ca.

 

 

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Media Contacts:

 

Andrea Mancini

CASACOM

amancini@casacom.ca

Tel: 416-944-2145

 

Anne Ramsay

Partners In Research

aramsay@pirweb.org

Tel: 519-433-7866

 

 

03/25/2014

 

 

Teens mentored by some of Canada’s premier biotechnology academics and scientists have created life-changing discoveries

 

Celebrating 21 Years

More than 200 of Canada’s most gifted high school and CEGEP students and their mentors, teachers and parents, will come together for the 2014 “Sanofi BioGENEius Challenge Canada (SBCC)”, Canada’s only national  biotechnology competition with mentors from Canada’s top universities and research institutes. The first regional competition launches in Montreal on March 27, followed by eight more regional competitions across the nation during April and May, and concludes at the Partners In Research National Awards (PIRNA) in Ottawa on May 23, 2014.

This year, more than 200 proposals were received from high school and CEGEP students from Victoria to Saskatoon to St. John’s, focused on biotechnology fields of discovery and study. Working closely with mentors, these students have conducted research in diverse areas such as telomeres, diabetes, stress management, Alzheimer’s, autism and pulp production. The program is one response to Canada’s national priority of encouraging skills development, education and jobs in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) fields.

Now in its 21st year, over 4,700 high school students across Canada have participated in the “Sanofi BioGENEius Challenge Canada (SBCC)”. Inspired by the question “How will you change the world?”, these Canadian teens have created astounding and life-changing scientific discoveries, many of which have been patented and commercialized. The majority of students who compete go on to pursue careers in science and biotechnology.

 

Student Profile

“Thanks to the SBCC, I was able to explore research that could potentially save lives down the road. The notion that a kid’s idea can make such an impact inspires me to keep going and perservere, which is why I’m returning to the competiton this year,” said 2013 SBCC National Winner Arjun Nair, 16. Arjun did university graduate-level research into an experimental therapy that deploys nano-particles of gold in the fight against cancer. Mentored at the University of Calgary, his research advances an experimental cancer “photothermal therapy” which involves injecting a patient with gold nanoparticles. The particles accumulate in tumours, forming so-called “nano-bullets” that can be heated to kill cancer cells and make the promising treatment more effective.

 

Comments from SBCC’s National Coordinator

Kevin Cougler, Executive Director, Partners In Research, which coordinates the program, commented: “As an organization that specializes in forging partnerships between academia, business and government, we are proud to partner with the Sanofi Group in Canada to cultivate the immense talent and potential of our young people, particularly in STEM, which is vital to Canadian innovation.”

 

Competition Dates

The winners of each regional competition will present their work at the national competition, held at the headquarters of the National Research Council in Ottawa on May 22, 2014. The first place winner of the “Sanofi BioGENEius Challenge Canada (SBCC)” will advance to the International BioGENEius Challenge held in San Diego, CA on June 22-25, in conjunction with the BIO Annual International Convention. For a full schedule of dates, locations and judges, click here.

 

Comments from the Sanofi Leadership Team

Mark Lievonen, President, Sanofi Pasteur Canada, which helped establish the competition in 1993, explains: “Even after more than 20 years of the SBCC, I am simply astounded by the life-changing discoveries that these young students make, and the power of science. Thanks to the collaboration between industry, government and academia, the SBCC fosters a culture of innovation in Canada, ultimately accelerating Canadian competitiveness and productivity. Programs like this are essential to shape and cultivate the next generation of leaders.” 

Jon Fairest, CEO of Sanofi Canada, said: “This competition wouldn’t be possible without the invaluable support given to the students by research mentors coming from some of Canada’s premier research institutes and universities.  Those mentors along with dedicated teachers, Canada’s regional life sciences leaders, and the SBCC’s valued government and industry sponsors are passionate about developing the young talent participating in SBCC.  Sanofi is proud to partner with them to harness for the next generation of biopharmaceutical scientific discovery.”   

 

About the Sanofi BioGENEius Challenge Canada (SBCC)

The Sanofi BioGENEius Challenge Canada (SBCC) is a national, biotechnology research competition that encourages high school and CEGEP students to pursue future studies and careers in the exciting field of biotechnology. 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.

 

To Learn More:

 

Media Contacts:

Andrea Mancini

CASACOM

amancini@casacom.ca

Tel: 416-944-2145

 

Anne Ramsay

Partners In Research

aramsay@pirweb.org

Tel: 519-433-7866

 

For more information, please visit sanofibiogeneiuschallenge.ca, follow us on Facebook or Twitter at https://twitter.com/@SBCCDBSC hashtag: #SBCC2014

 

05/13/2013

What's the best way to prevent meningitis? Are there any side effects from vaccines? These are both important questions to consider when getting vaccinated. Watch as pediatrician Dr. Greenberg answers these questions and more as he shares his insight to parenting expert Maureen Dennis. The answers might surprise you.

Voices of Meningitis is a Canadian collaborative educational initiative of Sanofi Pasteur Ltd (Canada) and Meningitis Research Foundation of Canada to educate parents about meningococcal disease.

05/06/2013

New Kirkland distribution center to accompany new head office in a total $12M investment

 

Montreal, Canada - May 6, 2013 - Global healthcare leader Sanofi inaugurated its new Canadian corporate head office this morning in Laval, Quebec, in the company of Mr. Alexandre Duplessis, Mayor of Laval, His Excellency Philippe Zeller, Ambassador of France to Canada and Mr. Nicolas Marceau, Quebec Minister of Finance and the Economy. The new offices, together with a new Canadian center for distribution in Kirkland, Quebec, form a renewed investment of $12M by Sanofi in the province.

Sanofi companies in Canada include Sanofi Canada (pharmaceuticals), Sanofi Pasteur (vaccines), Sanofi Consumer Health (health and beauty), Genzyme (rare diseases) and Merial (animal health). Together they employ more than 1,700 Canadians and, in 2012, invested $122 million in R&D in Canada, creating jobs, business and opportunity throughout the country.

“As part of Laval’s Biotech City, we remain committed to bringing innovative new medicines to Quebec and Canada, and hope to those living with diabetes, cancer and other diseases” said Jon Fairest, President and Chief Executive Officer of Sanofi Canada. “Our new head office and distribution center ensure that Sanofi continues to benefit from the expertise in the life sciences sector that Quebec has to offer.”

The new head office, which includes large open concept areas designed to encourage collaboration, innovation and cross-functional partnership between teams, will continue to house Sanofi’s Canadian Clinical Study Unit (CSU) currently overseeing close to 70 clinical trials across the country. The Kirkland distribution center brings together the company’s consumer health products and pharmaceuticals under one roof. It will also house a new cosmeceutical* laboratory for the purposes of continuing innovation in Sanofi Consumer Health’s NeoStrata® brand and bringing new health and beauty products to market.

“Sanofi has a 45-year history in Laval dating back to 1968 with the construction of the Octo Laboratories site, later becoming Nordic, and eventually the company we are today,” said Jon Fairest. “During this time, we have evolved significantly from our beginnings as a pharmaceutical company. Today, our goal is to do more than introduce products to market. We aim to serve our patients, providing them with care and expertise, while making a greater contribution to the sustainability of healthcare in Canada. Our new site is a reflection of that spirit and the culture we strive to create as healthcare company.”

 

Supporting the future of science

Underscoring Sanofi’s commitment to the future of science and its ties to the Laval community, the company invited school children from the local École Curé-Antoine-Labelle and Laval Liberty High School to meet Eunice Linh You and David Drouin, two of this year’s provincial winners of the Sanofi BioGENEius Challenge Canada – a national, biotechnology-focused science competition for high school and CEGEP students. The aspiring young scientists hosted an “Ask a GENEius” session, answering questions from the audience about their scientific aspirations and winning projects.
 

About Sanofi

Sanofi, a global and diversified healthcare leader, discovers, develops and distributes therapeutic solutions focused on patients’ needs. Sanofi has core strengths in the field of healthcare with seven growth platforms: diabetes solutions, human vaccines, innovative drugs, consumer healthcare, emerging markets, animal health and the new Genzyme. Sanofi is listed in Paris (EURONEXT: SAN) and in New York (NYSE: SNY).

 

About the Sanofi BioGENEius Challenge Canada (SBCC)

Celebrating its 20 anniversary in 2013, the Sanofi BioGENEius Challenge Canada (SBCC) is a national, biotechnology-focused science competition that exposes high school and CEGEP students to career possibilities and reveals the breadth of endeavour that makes up the bio-economy.

The SBCC gives high school and CEGEP students from across Canada the chance to pour their creativity, curiosity and scientific skills into cutting-edge research projects that tackle some of the day’s toughest challenges—from cancer and Alzheimer’s disease to crops and the environment.

Students gain exposure to the exciting field of biotechnology—and the opportunities a career in the bio-economy might hold for them. The SBCC helps build Canada’s biotechnology capacity by offering the next generation of scientists the opportunity to gain hands-on experience of what it takes to succeed in the bio-economy.

*Cosmeceutical is a marketing term referring to cosmetic products that are known to health care practitioners.These products are not pharmaceuticals.

 

For further information:

Joanne Kennedy                                                         Stephanie Lyttle

Sanofi Canada                                                            NATIONAL Public Relations

TEL.: 514 956-4188                                                    TEL.: 514-843-2365 

CELL.: 514 235-4380                                                  CELL.: 514-501-8685

 

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