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HARRISBURG, PA – Harrisburg University of Science and Technology (HU), along with the Capital Area Biotechnology Partnership (CABP), will host the Pennsylvania (PA) BioGENEius Challenge at the HU campus on May 2, 2024. This competition is supported through an on-going partnership between HU’s Biotechnology Program and the Biotechnology Institute.

The BioGENEius Challenge is one of the most well-established and prestigious science competitions open to high-school students, providing the opportunity for innovative and original science research projects in biotechnology fields. Students in grades 912, enrolled in biology or science-related courses in any public, private, or home-school setting within the USA, are eligible to apply.

The PA BioGENEius Challenge is comprised of projects selected from across the state of from several regional science and engineering fairs. Those students not participating in regional fairs can apply online as “at large” applicants and be eligible to compete at HU on May 2, 2024.

These projects showcase cutting-edge research designed and executed by high-school students and are very competitive in nature. The Pennsylvania winner will move on to compete in the National and International BioGENEius Challenge. In the past, several PA BioGENEius winners have won the International Challenge, including:

  • Anshi Paul – Hershey, PA, 2023 (Wearable Memory Assistive Device for Dementia and Alzheimer’s Patients Using Machine Learning Facial Recognition)
  • Okezue Bell – Easton, PA, 2022 (A Novel Anthropomorphic Myoprosthesis for Transradial Amputees)
  • Neil Deshmukh – Bethlehem, PA, 2019 (An Adaptive, Low-Cost Device for Offline Medical Analysis Utilizing Neural Networks with Reinforcement Learning Optimization)

“Due to the outstanding quality of the projects submitted, it’s always a significant challenge to select just one winner as the Pennsylvania BioGENEius champion,” said HU Professor Mrunalini “Leena” Pattarkine, PhD, who is the program lead, serves as Director for the Capital Area Biotechnology Partnership, and coordinates the PA BioGENEius Challenge.

The Pennsylvania BioGENEius Challenge has expanded into three new challenge tracks, giving students more opportunities than ever to apply, earn recognition, and win awards for their projects. The tracks include:

  • The Global Healthcare Challenge in medical biotechnology.
  • The Global Sustainability Challenge in agricultural biotechnology.
  • The Global Environment Challenge in industrial/environmental biotechnology.

The winner of the PA BioGENEius Challenge is eligible to attend the US National BioGENEius Challenge and the BIO International Conference, June 14–18, 2024. They can also compete for cash prizes totaling $20,000.

For more information about the PA BioGENEius competition hosted at HU on May 2, 2024, please contact Professor Leena Pattarkine, PhD, at or 717.901.5168.


Biotechnology Institute is an educational non-profit 501(c)(3) serving students in grades 3–12. Founded in 1998, Biotechnology Institute has more than 20 years of experience in educating young minds about biotechnology. The mission of Biotechnology Institute is to engage, excite, and educate young people about career prospects in biotechnology and catalyze their potential to heal, feed, and fuel the world.


Harrisburg University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and is a private, nonprofit university offering bachelor’s and graduate degree programs in the fields of science, technology, and mathematics. For additional information about the University’s affordable, demand-driven undergraduate and graduate programs, please call 717-901-5146 or email Stay updated by following Harrisburg University on XLinkedInInstagram, and Facebook.