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May 2, 2007
For immediate release

Three Oaks Student Wins Biotech Challenge for Test for Tunicates

Development and Technology

Rebecca Wolfe of Three Oaks Senior High School was awarded a $2500 prize for first place in the Sanofi-Aventis Biotech Challenge held recently in Charlottetown for her work on identification of Ciona Intestinals (Tunicates) in Waterways. Rebecca was one of five student groups from across PEI who competed in the challenge with projects ranging from the study of naturally occurring Antimicrobials, such as Garlic for preventing the growth of bacteria, to using sediment to create electricity.

This is the third year for the Sanofi-Aventis National competition in PEI as recognition of the program and the caliber of projects continues to grow. The provincial competition is a full-day event that includes a networking luncheon where invited guests are given the opportunity to view the projects and meet the students. This yearís speaker session was opened by PEI Premier Pat Binns who congratulated the students on their excellent work and invited them to become part of the growing field of Biotechnology in Prince Edward Island. Other guest speakers included: Dr. Michael Mayne, Director of Research at NRCís Institute for Nutrisciences and Health; Andy Tasker, Director of the Atlantic Centre for Comparative Biomedical Research; and Vanessa Williamson, Technology Transfer Manager, UPEI. In their address to guests and contestants, all guest speakers talked about the opportunities available in Biotechnology and encouraged students to take up the challenge of growing this industry in Prince Edward Island.

The projects were formally evaluated by a group of experts from PEIís scientific community. The day finished with an awards banquet at the Delta Prince Edward Hotel, with visiting guests Janet LeClair, board member for BioTalent Canada and Jason Locklin, Director of Government Relations and Public Affairs, Sanofi Pasteur. Parents, teachers, mentors and other invited guests enjoyed an evening of celebration with the students.

The national program is supported by Sanofi Pasteur, sanofi-aventis, Human Resources Social Development Canada, BioTalent Canada, Genome Canada, the National Research Council of Canada, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Canadian Louis Pasteur Foundation, VWR International, the Canada Foundation for Innovation, and in part by the Government of Canada Sector Council Programs. Regionally the program receives support from PEI Business Development and Technology PEI. Many other local research and industry facilities offer program planning, professional evaluation, accessibility to laboratory space, mentors, and generous support through their time and effort. Congratulations to all award finalists!

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Media Contact: Major Stewart
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