Sajeev Kohli of Waterloo Recognized for Groundbreaking Cancer Treatment Research
The prestigious Sanofi Biogenius Canada competition national final awards Sajeev Kohli from Sir John A. Macdonald Secondary School in Waterloo, Ontario with top honours. The grade 11 student was chosen by the judges for his research into cost-effective medication that could reduce the side effects of cancer treatment by selectively targeting malignant cells. His research project was overseen and with the support of mentor of Dr. Pu Chen, Canada Research Chair in Biomanufacturing at the University of Waterloo.
One of the country’s most prestigious student competitions, Sanofi Biogenius Canada pairs exceptional young scientists at the high school and CEGEP levels with academic mentors to pursue real-world research projects. These enriching partnerships have resulted in many promising breakthroughs across various scientific fields.
Hosted by the University of Toronto, the competition’s national final featured the winners from Sanofi Biogenius Canada regional competitions held across the country in April. The nine finalists presented their research projects to a judging panel of esteemed members of the scientific community.
“Sajeev’s research project demonstrates the caliber of scientific talent in Canada, and Sanofi strongly believes in empowering our country’s next generation of innovators,” says Niven Al-Khoury, president and CEO of Sanofi Canada. “We are proud to support a program that pairs promising young researchers with mentors who will help them realize their greatest potential. We are also pleased to support a unique forum for students to showcase their work on the national stage, an experience that is an important stepping stone to future opportunities.”
Sajeev receives a cash prize of $5,000, of which a portion will go to his school. He will continue on to the 2018 International BioGENEius Challenge in Boston in June, where he will submit his work to a panel of distinguished international scientists.
Runners-up in this year’s national SBC competition were awarded cash prizes ranging in value from $1,000 to $4,000.
Second prize went to Marc Henein, a student from Collège Jean-de-Brébeuf in Montreal, Quebec. Marc’s research project was the creation of an injectable treatment for iron overload disorders, overseen and with the support of mentor Dr. L’Hocine Yahia, director of the Laboratory of Innovation and Analysis of Bioperformance at Montreal’s École Polytechnique.
Third prize was awarded to Jacob Harvey, a grade 12 student from Grant Park High School in Winnipeg, Manitoba, for his research project examining the production of biodegradable, environmentally-friendly plastic, with the support of mentor Dr. Nazim Cicek of the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Manitoba.