Winnipeg student heading to national science competition for 2nd year
Dennis Drewnik's canola research earns him spot at Sanofi Biogenius Canada's 2016 nationals
A Winnipeg high school student with a keen interest in molecular plant biology is going to a national biotechnology competition for the second year in a row.
Dennis Drewnik, 17, is returning to the Sanofi Biogenius Canada national finals after taking first place in the Manitoba regional competition this month.
The Grade 12 student from Sisler High School won for his project looking at ways to protect canola crops from blackleg disease, which can reduce crop yields by up to 20 per cent.
Drewnik worked with Mark Belmonte, a biological sciences researcher and professor at the University of Manitoba, to identify the genes that can make canola resistant to blackleg.
The runners-up in the Manitoba competition are Justin Lin of St. John's-Ravenscourt School and Maitry Mistry of Fort Richmond Collegiate.
Last year, Drewnik competed in the Sanofi Biogenius Canada national competition for his research on genes that would give canola protection from disease without the need for chemical fertilizers. He finished in fourth place.
This year's national competition will take place May 2-3 in Ottawa. Drewnik will join eight other regional winners there, including Melody Song of Saskatoon, who won the Saskatchewan regionals for her research on molecular markers in mutant fava beans.
- Saskatoon student rides fava bean project to national competition
- Students face off to represent Alberta at prestigious science competition
The regional winners will show their research to a panel of scientists as they vie for the top prize — a spot in the 2016 International BioGENEius Challenge in San Francisco in June.