Prarthana Dalal

2011 International BioGENEius Challenge, First Place Winner
Prarthana Dalal

Prarthana Dalal, a senior from Shawnee Mission East High School in Leawood, Kan., has won the International BioGENEius Challenge, a competition for high school students who demonstrate an exemplary understanding of biotechnology through science research projects.  Fourteen students from the U.S., Canada and Western Australia competed in this year’s event.  She will receive an award of $7,500.

Dalal’s project is titled “Modeling of human non-deletional hereditary persistence of fetal hemoglobin (HPFH) conditions in β-globin locus transgenic mouse models: The -175 (T to C) and -195 (C to G) A-gamma globin gene point mutations.”  She looked at hemoglobin genetics and how sequence changes can effect fetal hemoglobin production in mouse models, which can be used to understand treatment mechanisms for sickle cell disease.

Students were evaluated not only on the quality of their research and display, but also on their responses to questions relating to their scientific knowledge and potential commercial applications of their research. The panel of judges who selected the competition's top winners included scientists, researchers, educators and key members of the biotech industry.  

This year, Prarthana will attend Northwestern University in Evanston, IL near Chicago for their Honors Program in Medical Education. This is a seven year combined bachelors and medical degree program.

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