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Research on Recyclable Plastics from Bacteria wins Grade 11 City Student Entry to National Biotech Competition

Innovative research by a grade 11 Winnipeg student at Balmoral Hall School which could lead to the mass production of recyclable plastic from a harmless bacteria has earned the first place prize in the 2012 SanofiBioGENEius Challenge (SBCC) in the Manitoba region.

Grade 11 student Ella Thomson won the $2000 cash prize with a study into bacterial plastic production and will travel to Ottawa to compete in the national SBCC competition May 9, to be judged by a panel of experts at the National Research Council.  The national winners will be announced at a ceremony in Ottawa on May 10.

Ella discovered a way to cause common soil bacteria to produce an excess of a plastic that can be recycled by that same soil bacteria.  Her work leads toward commercial development of a “Bioplastic” that will be economically and environmentally viable.  Ella has been the top SBCC project every year that she has been involved since she was in grade 8, this is her fourth consecutive Gold Medal. She has worked primarily in research to protect the environment.

Ella Thomson (R), with Joanne Kennedy, Sanofi-aventis Canada

Ella Thomson (R), with Joanne Kennedy, Sanofi-aventis Canada

Congratulations also to Theo Wigle, son of Dr. Jeff Wigle, Principal Investigator, Vascular Development, Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences, on his 3rd place finish for his project on the role of calcium in diabetes and heart disease!

Theo Wigle (R), with Joanne Kennedy, Sanofi-aventis Canada

Theo Wigle (R), with Joanne Kennedy, Sanofi-aventis Canada

St. Boniface Hospital Research is a regional sponsor of the 2012 SanofiBioGENEius Challenge (SBCC).

Other regional partners include:

  • Manitoba Innovation, Energy and Mines
  • Red River College
  • University of Manitoba
  • Genome Prairie
  • MindSet, Manitoba Network for Science and Technology
  • Winnipeg Youth Biomedical Program

Click here for more information, or contact:
Bob Brown, Coordinator Manitoba Sanofi BioGENEius Challenge,
Phone:235 1812, Cell 791 5356