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The winner of the PA BioGENEius competition hosted by Harrisburg University of Science and Technology went on to win the international prize in the annual competition.

Okezue Bell (11th grade, Easton, PA), the PA BioGENEius winner was named the grand prize winner of the International BioGENEius Challenge, the premier competition for high school students that recognizes outstanding research and innovation in biotechnology. Judged by industry and academic experts, Okezue’s research on “A novel anthropomorphic myoprosthesis for transradial amputees” stood out among the impressive research from his 13 fellow finalists. Along with the top honor, Okezue will receive a cash prize of $7,500.

 Okezue’s project in the Johnson & Johnson Innovation Global Healthcare Challenge seeks to provide a highly functional, low-cost prosthetic for below-elbow amputees comparable to or exceeding the performance of currently available alternatives.

Harrisburg University’s Biotechnology Program and the Capital Area Biotechnology Partnership ( host the PA BioGENEius competition at HU every year. The projects are selected from across the state of PA from several regional science and engineering fairs. These projects are cutting edge and very competitive. It is always a big challenge to select one winner as the PA BioGENEius champion, says Professor Leena Pattarkine who leads the CABP and coordinates the PA BioGENEius.


Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, Harrisburg University is a private non-profit university offering bachelor and graduate degree programs in science, technology, and math fields. For more information on the University’s affordable demand-driven undergraduate and graduate programs, call 717.901.5146 or email,

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