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Georgia Bio Names Mountain View High School Junior as Georgia BioGENEius Winner


Suraj Modi Advances to Boston to International Competition Against Top Students

Atlanta, GA (April 6, 2018) – Georgia Bio and the Georgia BioEd Institute today named Suraj Modi, Mountain View High School junior of Lawrenceville, GA, as the winner of the 2018 Georgia BioGENEius Challenge, the premier competition for high school students that recognizes outstanding research and innovation in the biotechnology field.  As Georgia’s BioGENEius finalist, Suraj will attend the 2018 BIO International Convention, the industry’s trade conference from June 3-6 in Boston, MA, where he will engage with leading companies, scientists and innovators currently transforming the scientific landscape in order to gain valuable insights into an industry making significant contributions to the world.

While in Boston, Suraj will compete against high school students from the U.S., Canada and Germany in the International BioGENEius Challenge. The student projects will represent a range of biotechnology topics such as healthcare, agriculture, and the environment.

Suraj’s award-winning research uses algorithms to predict epileptic seizures. Epilepsy affects over 3.4 million people in the United States alone. Approximately 200,000 new cases of epilepsy are diagnosed each year. The purpose of this project was to detect seizures at least 5 minutes prior to their occurrence through preictal, ictal, and interictal brainwave differentiation. It can be used to save the lives of epileptic patients and provide them with a warning of an oncoming seizure.

“The BioGENEius Challenge highlights the breakthroughs made when we invest in and encourage young people to pursue their ideas,” said Georgia Bio President and CEO Russell Allen. “Georgia Bio is thrilled that Suraj will represent our state at the upcoming BIO Convention. We are proud to support this Georgia scholar as he develops tomorrow’s healthcare innovations.”

Georgia Bio also congratulates the Georgia BioGENEius runner-up, Zoe Weiss of Lakeside High School in Atlanta, GA. Weiss’ research enabled her to create a powerful method to detect rare cell types in a large population of cells. Rare cell type detection would advance early disease diagnosis (e.g., cancer) and allow identification of new cell types.

Judging the 2018 Georgia BioGENEius were Jamie L. Graham, Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton; Kami McMillan, Chubb; Alex Harvey, Viamune; Monica Dias Figueiredo, Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health; and Ian Biggs, UGA.

National and International winners will be announced during June 4-7, 2018 BIO International Convention. Winners will receive cash scholarships.

Follow the BioGENEius Challenge: Throughout the challenge, @BiotechInstitut will be tweeting interviews, photos, and engaging with the biotechnology community by using the hashtag #BioGENEius.

About the Biotechnology Institute
The Biotechnology Institute is an independent, national nonprofit organization dedicated to education about the present and future impact of biotechnology.  Its mission is to engage, excite and educate the public, particularly students and teachers, about biotechnology and its immense potential for solving human health, food and environmental problems.  For more information, visit

About the GeorgiaBioEd Institute 
The Georgia BioEd Institute is a division of Georgia Bio, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization serving the state’s life science industry. The Institute’s mission is to strengthen Georgia’s life sciences workforce pipeline through classroom-to-career initiatives that align with industry needs. Learn more at |



Maria Thacker