Smriti Kumar, Adlai E. Stevenson High School

Smriti Kumar, a student at Adlai E. Stevenson High School, has been named the champion of the Illinois BioGENEius Challenge! Kumar impressed the judges with her innovative research project titled “Strengthening Accuracy of Lung Cancer Diagnosis Through A Novel Ensemble Neural Network Method.”

Jennifer Dawson from Wheeling High School also received recognition, taking home the first runner-up title for her project, “The Feasibility of Spider Web Biomimicry to Capture Potable Water From Fog.”

The Illinois BioGENEius Competition, hosted annually by the Illinois Biotechnology Innovation Organization (iBIO) and sponsored by Xeris Pharmaceuticals, provides a platform for aspiring young scientists to showcase their research prowess in biotechnology.

“This competition offers a unique opportunity for students to be acknowledged for their exceptional work in biotech research,” said Ann Vogel, Senior Vice President of Charitable Programs at iBIO.

Kumar and Dawson’s dedication to scientific exploration has been rewarded with scholarships from iBIO, further supporting their journeys in the field of biotechnology.

The 2024 edition of the competition, held at Fulton Labs, saw over 40 enthusiastic high school students from across Illinois present their original research projects to a panel of 20 industry judges.