Winner moves on to compete in the International Competition this summer for a chance to win a cash prize

Sirihaasa Nallamothu, from University High School took first place at the Illinois BioGENEius Challenge, an annual student science and research competition hosted by iBIO as part of the 2021 Illinois Life Sciences Showcase. 

Nallamothu was selected from among 8 Illinois high school student semi-finalists for her research that focused on Computer Board based Fundoscopy and Supervised Binary Convolutional Neural Network for Diagnosis of Fundus and Eyelid Diseases. 

This year, students from across the state submitted projects that researched medical, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology. These projects had to align with one of the three challenge areas: Global healthcare, global sustainability or global environment. 

Employees from Horizon Therapeutics, Medline Industries, Northwestern University and Proteintech served as the judges for the competition. 

We are pleased Ms. Nallamouthu’s will be representing Illinois in the International Competition,” said Ann Vogel, Senior Vice President of Charitable Programs and iBIO. “Ms. Nallamouthu’s knowledge of the topic, her enthusiasm and commitment to developing solutions that will help thousands of people suffering from eye diseases around the world will set her apart from her competitors in June.

Nallamothu will go on to represent Illinois in the International BioGENEius Competition in June. Due to COVID-19, the competition will also be conducted virtually. The top three competitors will receive cash prizes. The International BioGENEius Competition brings together the best and brightest students from the U.S. and other countries and is regarded as the most prestigious high school sciences competition in the world for original research in biotechnology.

About iBIO

The Illinois Biotechnology Innovation Organization (iBIO) is a life sciences industry association that represents the nearly 88,000 life sciences employees at member companies, universities, service providers and venture firms. iBIO promotes the industry’s value to the public and policymakers; connects innovators to investment and talent; stimulates collaboration and fosters the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs to transform patient lives through groundbreaking research and works to grow the Illinois economy.

iBIO delivers industry-led STEM programs for teachers and students, thereby inspiring the next generation of innovators and helping restore America’s leadership in technology education. To learn more about iBIO and its programs, visit