BioME Student Showcase 2022

The fourth annual Student Showcase was held in-person this spring, allowing students to to practice their face-to-face presentation skills and share their life science research.

The BioME Student Showcase is an exciting opportunity for aspirational scientists to showcase their passion for research and bioscience. Each year, Maine high school and college students present their original life science-focused research projects in competition for cash and academic prizes.

On April 27, 2022, BioME organized the fourth annual BioME Student Showcase at CloudPort Coworking Space in Portland. 10 college students and 10 high school students were selected to present their original biotech research to a panel of judges, industry members, and mentors.

The Showcase began with the Maine BioGENEius Challenge – a high school poster competition. BioME is the official local partner for the BioGENEius Challenge, a prestigious international biotech competition for grades 9-12. Each high school student shared their poster, talked about their research, and answered questions from the judges. Later in the day, college undergraduate and graduate students presented their research or bioscience business plan through a 3-minute pitch. Each pitch was followed by in-depth questions from the judges to display the students’ knowledge of the subject. After a pizza break, attendees and contestants gathered back into the room for the winners announcement and award presentations.

BioME Student Showcase top finalists

College finalists

  • 1st Place – Caitlin Wiafe-Kwakye, University of Maine
    Investigating the impact of prophages on bacterial fitness of Group B Streptococcus
  • 2nd Place – Sasha Weller, University of Maine
    Mitochondrial Toxicity of Antibacterial Agent Cetylpyridinium Chloride (CPC)
  • 3rd Place – Joshua Hamilton, University of Maine
    Multiscale Anisotropy Analysis of Second-Harmonic Generation Imaging of Pancreatic Cancer

High school finalists

  • 1st Place – William Xu, Bangor High School
    A Novel Approach for Early Detection of Alzheimer’s Disease: Developing an AlexNet Convolutional Neural Network Enhanced by Class Activation Mapping
  • 2nd Place – Abigail Gardner, Baxter Academy for Technology and Science
    Analysis of the ASIP and MC1R Color Coat Genes in Dun Colored Horses
  • 3rd Place – Ogechi Obi, Bangor High School
    Transesterification of Starch in CNF/Chitin/Starch composite bioplastics

First place high school recipient, William Xu, will represent Maine in the BioGENEius Challenge, a prestigious international biotech competition for high school students at the BIO International Convention in San Diego, CA. BioME is proud to be the official local partner of the BioGENEius Challenge.

The BioME Student Showcase started as an initiative in 2019 to support innovation and commercialization of student ideas in Maine, as well as connect current students with potential future employers and entrepreneurial resources in the state. The event was sponsored by Maine Technology Institute, Consigli and The Jackson Laboratory.

BioME Student Showcase Judges

Gary Goodrich – Past President of the Bioscience Association of Maine Board of Directors
Stephen Pelsue, PhD – Manager of Discovery, Maine Molecular Quality Controls, Inc.
Bethany Fortier – Associate Scientist in Research & Development, IDEXX
Matthew Lynes, PhD – Faculty Scientist, Maine Medical Center Research Institute

Contestants

High School Contestants

Analysis of the ASIP and MC1R Color Coat Genes in Dun Colored Horses, Abigail Gardner, Baxter Academy for Technology and Science
Evaluation of Microplastic Toxicity on the Embryonic Development of Sea Urchin Lytechinus Variegatus, Aishwarya Rajan, John Bapst Memorial High School
Addressing COVID-19 Vaccines Using Lipid Based Nanoparticles, Albert Bai, John Bapst Memorial High School
Creating a Low Cost Non-Invasive Blood Glucose Monitoring and Automatic Insulin Injection System with an Artificial Neural Network and Raspberry Pi, Cuthbert Steadman, Bangor High School
A Non-Invasive Approach to the Treatment of Equine White Line Disease Using Poly-Wrap and Manuka Honey Topical, Emma Markowitz, Maine Homeschool
The Development of a Cost-Effective Aerial Near-Infrared and RGB Imaging System to Monitor Plant Health, Frederick Oldenburg, Bangor High School
Transesterification of Starch in CNF/Chitin/Starch composite bioplastics, Ogechi Obi, Bangor High School
Amplification of Representative Scale Yield Through Avoidance of Regenerated Scale Zones in Striped Bass (Morone saxatilis), Patrick Wahlig, Falmouth High School
Hashtone: Developing Novel Information Interaction and Transmission Experiences Through Sound and Color, Simon Socolow, Bangor High School
A Novel Approach for Early Detection of Alzheimer’s Disease: Developing an AlexNet Convolutional Neural Network Enhanced by Class Activation Mapping, William Xu, Bangor High School

College Contestants

Phenolic Extracts from Wild Blueberries promote(s) Vascularized Wound Healing, Tolu Adekeye, University of Maine
CNC/PDMS hybrid membrane with high thermal stability for the application in air dehydration at high temperatures, Nasim Alikhani, University of Maine
Wavelet-based Assessment and Visualization for Early Detection, Kendra Batchelder, University of Maine
Biosensing of PFAS Contamination and Other Toxicants in Well Water Samples, Isaac Dionne, College of the Atlantic
Hidden Alzheimer’s in Mice? Laura Drepanos, Colby College
Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Tranexamic Acid, Autumn Greene, University of Southern Maine
Multiscale Anisotropy Analysis of Second-Harmonic Generation Imaging of Pancreatic CancerJoshua Hamilton, University of Maine
FABP Inhibition: Development of Novel Multiple Myeloma Treatment, Michelle Karam, University of Southern Maine
Mitochondrial Toxicity of Antibacterial Agent Cetylpyridinium Chloride (CPC), Sasha Weller, University of Maine
Investigating the impact of prophages on bacterial fitness of Group B Streptococcus, Caitlin Wiafe-Kwakye, University of Maine

Thank you event sponsors