ATLANTA–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Shreya Ramesh, a Milton High School senior, from Milton, Georgia, and local winner of the Georgia BioGENEius Challenge, has taken the top prize at the fiercely competitive International BioGENEius Challenge. Shreya’s innovative work on voice recognition data and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) stood out among her fellow finalists.
“We just couldn’t be more ecstatic—for Shreya as well as for the future of all biotech innovation,” said Georgia Bio President and CEO Maria Thacker. “We knew how talented she was when we saw her work, but the fact that our local winner’s unbelievably sophisticated research won the top prize at this advanced level shows you just what we can do in biotech here in Georgia, not to mention how brilliant and innovative Georgia students are.”
Organized by the Biotechnology Institute, the annual competition brings together young innovators from across North America and Germany to compete before an accomplished panel of established biotechnology researchers and academics. The winner walks away with the recognition, advisement, and support of some of the world’s best biotech innovators as well $7,500 in prize money.
Shreya’s research topic focused on the problem of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) patients, many of whom rely on Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) tools such as Google Voice, with voice characteristics that can unfortunately be unreadable to ARS programs. As a result of the condition, the voices of ALS patients can be slow and high pitched, making ARS software interaction problematic. Shreya’s solution was to create a novel voice compensation algorithm that converted an ALS patient’s unique vocal texture into one more easily recognized by the programs.
“Winning the BioGENEius Challenge feels absolutely amazing,” said Shreya Ramesh. “It’s great to know that my project has the potential to change lives and that I’ll have a supportive platform to help me do that. The competition was the best experience—I’ve met so many students who are just as passionate as I am about using biotech to change the world!”
Judges of the 2020 International BioGENEius Challenge included BioEd Institute Board Member and past Chair, Jamie Graham, partner at Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton, to whom Georgia Bio and the Georgia BioEd Institute offer a special thanks.
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 www.biotechinstitute.org.
About the Georgia BioEd 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 www.georgiabioed.org | www.gabio.org.