Wistar Announces Winners of Annual High School Biology Essay Contest

Wistar Announces Winners of Annual High School Biology Essay Contest

June 5, 2002

(PHILADELPHIA-June 6, 2002) The three winners and five runners-up in The Wistar Institute High School Biology Essay Contest will receive their prizes at a ceremony today at 5:30 p.m. at the Institute. The Honorable James R. Roebuck, Pennsylvania Representative for the 188th District, will present the awards.

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, this year selected by Dr. Steven B. McMahon, judges the contest.

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 200 students entered this year.

The grand prize winner this year is Evelyn Walters, who won for her essay titled "New Views of the Brain in the Research of Mental Disorders." Walters is a student at Julia R. Masterman High School. In addition to her award of $250, Walter's school wins a $250 award for laboratory and teaching supplies.

Second prize goes to Jincy Mathews for her essay "Telomerase." Mathews is a student at Central High School. A $100 award accompanies Mathews's prize.

Third prize goes to Alison Margolies for "PMDD and PMS." Margolies, a student at Central High School, will receive a $75 award.

The five runners-up are: Lucy Buchanan-Parker, Julia R. Masterman High School, for her essay "Potential Medical Benefits of Frog Venom"; Ricky Yuen, George Washington High School, for "Human Genome Project"; Michael Brino, Girard Academic Music Program, for "Childhood Vaccinations"; Angelo Blakey, Strawberry Mansion High School, for "Childhood Vaccinations"; and Ernie Foster, Overbrook High School, for "The History of AIDS." Each runner-up will receive a $50 prize.

Each year, an additional $250 award for laboratory and teaching supplies goes to the school submitting the greatest number of entries to the contest. This year, the prize goes to Julia R. Masterman High School.

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. 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 - one of only eight focused on basic research. Discoveries at Wistar have led to the development of vaccines for such diseases as rabies and rubella, the identification of genes associated with breast, lung, and prostate cancer, and the development of monoclonal antibodies and othersignificant research technologies and tools.