Winner of Maine BioGENEius Challenge Competes in International Finals in San Diego (guest post by William Xu)

Maine BioGENEius winner shares experience at International Finals at BIO International Convention

This post was written by William Xu, a high school student from Bangor, who won our 4th annual BioME Student Showcase on April 27, 2022. As the winner, William was able to represent Maine and at the international finals of The BioGENEius Challenge during BIO International Convention. William’s research focuses on early detection of Alzheimer’s Disease: developing an AlexNet convolutional neural network enhanced by class activation mapping. Below he describes his experience.

Guest post by William Xu

My name is William Xu and I’m currently a rising senior at Bangor High School. In June, I had the utmost honor of participating at the International BioGENEius Competition after qualifying through the state level. Through the Bangor High School STEM Academy, I was given the opportunity through various resources to tackle my passion for tackling large issues within the diagnostic processes in the healthcare field with the use of modern machine learning techniques.

I was extremely fortunate to win First Place at the Maine BioGENEius competition and subsequently qualify for the International BioGENEius Competition in San Diego, California. Along with 15 other High School students, we were lucky enough to attend and be apart of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) International Convention to present our research. This itself was such an extraordinary opportunity, as being able to interact with such great minds from all over the world and collectively talk about our mutual passions will be something I cherish for the rest of my academic career.

The main goal of my project was to develop a scalable, open-source, software to both identify early-stage Alzheimer’s disease as well as identify specific biomarkers within the ventrillic areas. I strove to provide interpretable AI for clinical translation, essentially getting rid of the traditional roadblock of the inability to understand and interpret the results of classifications software. In the future, I hope to continue my work in machine learning within the healthcare field.

All of this wouldn’t be possible without the Bioscience Association of Maine and the BioGENEius Organization for being able to accommodate ånd aid me in attending the international BioGENIEus Competition.

Watch a short clip from the BioGENEius International Finals

About BioGENEius

BioME is the official local partner for the BioGENEius Challenge, a prestigious international biotech competition for grades 9-12. The high school winner of BioME Student Showcase automatically qualifies to compete against international students in the BioGENEius Challenge finals during the BIO International Convention. The Maine BioGENEius Challenge is open to any student in grade 9-12 attending public, private or home school in Maine.

2022 Maine BioGENEius 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

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