Marriottsville, Md., 9th grader Jefferson Feng recognized for Oral Insulin project, will represent Maryland in 2023 International BioGENEius Challenge
GAITHERSBURG, Md., May 17, 2022 – Learning Undefeated, a nonprofit organization that provides innovative and experiential STEM education programs, announced today that Jefferson Feng, a freshman at Marriotts Ridge High School in Marriottsville, Maryland has won the 2023 Maryland BioGENEius Challenge.
Learning Undefeated co-hosts the Maryland BioGENEius Challenge, a rigorous international competition for talented high school students in grades 9-12, with the Biotechnology Institute each year. As the 2023 Maryland BioGENEius finalist, Feng will represent the state at the virtual At-Large BioGENEius Challenge this May. For the second consecutive year, the BioGENEius Challenge tracks include the Global Healthcare Challenge in medical biotechnology, the Global Sustainability Challenge in agricultural biotechnology, and the Global Environmental Challenge in industrial/environmental biotechnology.
“I’m always inspired by the incredible talent and potential that the BioGENEius Challenge entrants submit each year,” said Learning Undefeated CEO Brian Gaines. “These students truly are creating the future, today.”
Feng’s project was entitled “Generating an Oral Insulin by Engineering Probiotic Yeast to Secrete Long-lasting Insulin for Treating Diabetes.” The goal of the project was to engineer a probiotic yeast to secrete insulin as an oral therapy to deliver insulin to the intestine via its natural path, through the portal vein into the liver and other parts of the body. This will set a foundation for the development of engineered yeast strains as oral insulin medicine for treating type 1 diabetes patients in the future.
Runners up in the 2023 Maryland BioGENEius Challenge were:
- 2nd place – William Gao, Centennial High School, “Combating Health Inequities in Cancer Diagnosis: Designing a Federated Learning-Driven Metastatic Breast Cancer Diagnostic System to Reduce Diagnosis Delay and Improve Patient Survival.”
- 3rd place – Nathaniel Kochenderfer, Sidwell Friends School, “Identification of Potential Therapeutic Targets for Multiple Myeloma by Gene Expression Analysis.”
About Learning Undefeated
Learning Undefeated provides life-changing STEM experiences for under-resourced communities by providing equitable access to education and inspiring students to imagine their own success. Through innovative and experiential education programs for grades K-12, we are promoting gender and race equality in STEM careers and building the workforce that will drive the innovation economy. Learning Undefeated’s flagship education program features mobile STEM labs that have provided hands-on learning opportunities to over one million K-12 students in all 50 states since 2003. The nonprofit’s Drop Anywhere Lab won 2022 Best of STEM Awards for the Social Impact: Promoting Diversity & Equity Inclusion category.
Learning Undefeated also operates several other celebrated STEM education programs, including the Emerging Leaders in STEM Program, Advancing Tomorrow’s Leaders in STEM (ATLAS) College and Career Exploration Program, STEM Leadership Experience, student competitions, after-school programs, curriculum development and disaster recovery education.
Visit learningundefeated.org or follow us on social media @LearningUNDFTD.