Life Sciences Awards

The Life Sciences Awards are designed to encourage and promote "cutting edge" innovation in the field of life sciences.

Monetary Awards will be presented to an adult scientist; three secondary school educators; and three secondary students.



Agency - Christopher Columbus Fellowship Foundation



Program Accomplishments

Fiscal Year 2009: In 2009, the second annual Life Sciences Awards, sponsored by the public-private partnership of the Christopher Columbus Fellowship Foundation, a Federal government agency, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce were presented. Bryon Petersen, Ph.D., at the University of Florida in Gainesville, FL, was awarded the 2009 $25,000 Chairmen s Distinguished Life Sciences Award. Dr. Petersen is recognized worldwide as a foremost authority in hepatic stem cells and their role in liver pathobiology. He is currently conducting research in stem cell biology and how it relates to the patho-physiology of the liver. This research shows that bone marrow derived cells could become functioning hepatocytes, and several clinical trials have been attempted based upon his discovery. Additionally, Dr. Petersen is investigating the usefulness of gene/stem cell therapy in the treatment of certain inherited metabolic diseases of the liver-Crigler-Najjar Syndrome (C-NS) and Glycogen Storage Disease (GSD). Children with C-NS are unable to eliminate bilirubin from their bodies and, therefore, must undergo daily 12-hour exposure to special blue lights, just to survive. Without daily treatments, a child would suffer brain damage, muscle and nerve damage and death due to bilirubin toxicity. Children with GSD suffer in a different way, having to eat/drink a corn-starch meal every four hours to maintain their blood glucose levels. If they don t, they become hypoglycemic and will fall into a coma and die. His studies combine two high-profile fields-stem cells and gene therapy-that will hopefully cure these children of their disease, not just treat them.

Beenu Gupta, Biology teacher at The Charter School of Wilmington, Wilmington, DE, was awarded the 2009 $10,000 Life Sciences Educator Award. Beenu s classroom is dubbed the "Disneyland of Biology." Students have been known to sing and dance as they dive into Molecular Biology. Mrs. Gupta said: "I have always been passionate about learning and teaching, so I decided to become a high school teacher, where I could provide a solid foundation for college-bound students. My goal has always been to make learning fun, and a life-long experience." The Charter School of Wilmington is a college preparatory high school with a focus on mathematics and science and was ranked 41st in U.S. News and World Reports America"s Best High Schools 2008.

Henry Zheng, a senior at Centennial High School in Ellicott City, MD, was awarded the 2009 $5,000 Life Sciences Biology Student Award. Henry has been conducting research at The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory since his sophomore year of high school. Under the supervision of Dr. Jeffery Lesho, Biomedical Engineering Group, Henry has worked on his computational neuroscience project that improves the performance of an arm prosthesis. He has received many awards and recognition for this research including the international 2008 FUSION conference in Koln, Germany and in 2009 from coast to coast-Seattle, Washington to Washington, D.C.

Justin Grzyb, a senior at Westchester Country Day School, High Point, NC, was awarded the 2009 $5,000 Life Sciences Chemistry Student Award. Since his freshman year in high school, Justin has spent his summers at The Johns Hopkins University. Working for two years under the supervision of Professor Tim Weihs, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Justin researched and learned about technology surrounding NanoFoil, a reactive thin film composed of alternating, nano-scaled layers of Nickel and Aluminum. He then successfully completed his own project-to find a way to create uniform, curved particles of NanoFoil, and then measure the reaction velocity of these particles inside a vacuum. His work was acknowledged in two different research papers, and he is the co-inventor on a provisional patent for creating microscopic particles of NanoFoil. Fiscal Year 2010: Number of Awards will increase from four to seven Awards, plus an additional $25,000 for research for the Chairmen"s Distinguished Life Sciences Award.
In 2010, the third annual Life Sciences Awards, sponsored by the public-private partnership of the Christopher Columbus Fellowship Foundation, a Federal government agency, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce were presented on July 13, 2010 in Washington, D.C. James F. Leary, Ph.D., SVM Professor of Basic Medical Sciences and Biomedical Engineering, Birck Nanotechnology Center, Purdue University, Lafayette, IN, was awarded the 2010 $25,000 Chairmen s Distinguished Life Sciences Award. Dr. Leary"s research involves designing "next-generation", advanced nanodelivery systems for drugs and genes to combat cancer and other diseases. He has invented a variety of new nanomedical devices with targeting molecules that deliver therapeutic drugs precisely to diseased cells to perform single cell "nanosurgery", which eliminate the diseased cells while trying to preserve nearby normal cells, allowing for much smaller drug doses and fewer side effects. Dr. Leary will also receive up to $25,000 in research funds.

Derrick C. Wood, Chemistry Educator, Conestoga High School, Berwyn, PA, was awarded the 2010 $10,000 Life Sciences Educator Award. Teaching at Conestoga High School since 2004, Derrick instills the same passion for Chemistry that he experiences - by showing his students that Chemistry is not an exercise in futility, but is extremely relevant to their lives. He authored Case-Studies for his High School Chemistry curriculum and uses them as an alternative and authentic way of integrating the lab component into Chemistry, giving his students the opportunity to experience science in the same way it is done outside the classroom. Derrick has given presentations at NSTA and ACS National Conventions where he shared his curriculum with teachers across the country. In Derrick s opinion though, his greatest accomplishments are "the students that have graduated from Conestoga with a passion for science and have pursued college majors and careers as a result of the same love for science that I embrace."

Michelle Bagley, Biology Educator, Centennial High School, Ellicott City, MD, was awarded the 2010 $10,000 Life Sciences Educator Award. Michelle has been an educator for 30 years teaching biology and research, a passion she developed doing science fair projects during her own school years. Michelle has written curriculum for the county and the National Association of Biology Teachers and has made numerous presentations for conferences and organizations on a variety of topics. She has been at Centennial High School since 1991 and currently works with students in the Intern/Mentor Program as part of the Gifted and Talented Program. Among her students, she boasts winners in the Siemens Competition, Christopher Columbus Life Science Student Award, Intel Science Talent Search, Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, and many others. She has been honored as a Presidential Scholar Teacher, a Coca-Cola Educator of Distinction, and Intel Teacher of the Year.

Ryan Templeton, Biology Educator, Mathematics and Science High School at Clover Hill, Midlothian, VA, was awarded the 2010 $10,000 Life Sciences Educator Award. Ryan teaches freshman biology and AP Biology at the Mathematics and Science High School at Clover Hill, where he also serves as Research Coordinator. Ryan is also Director of the Virginia Summer Governor"s School for Life Sciences and Medicine at Virginia Commonwealth University. Emphasizing and encouraging student research in his classes,. his students conduct independent research projects and present their findings at national and international competitions. His efforts have been recognized by the Virginia Academy of Science with an E.C.L. Miller Teaching Award, and a Virginia Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching, as well as commendations from the Virginia Department of Education and Virginia Mathematics and Science Coalition.

Jason Gandelman, a senior at Staples High School, Westport, CT, was awarded the 2010 $5,000 Life Sciences Student Award. Jason"s high school research investigated toxic compounds called Advanced Glycation End-products (AGEs), which are known to contribute to the long-term health problems associated with diabetes, a disease his family has a long history with. Jason"s study showed that yeast has evolved mechanisms to minimize the formation of toxic AGE compounds. Attempting to identify a protein that will block the human body"s receptor sites from binding with AGEs, Jason believes his study will lead to new medications to prevent or cure blood vessel and kidney damage associated with diabetes. Jason aspires to continue conducting research in biological chemistry at Harvard University.

Anirudh Mohan, a senior at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, Alexandria, VA, was awarded the 2010 $5,000 Life Sciences Student Award. Anirudh"s primary passion lies in the field of biomedical engineering, with an interest in pursuing both technical and business perspectives. During his last two years of high school, he conducted nanobiotechnology research at George Mason University. HIs research involved the nanoengineering of polymers to synthesize novel, "smart" diagnostic devices which can be utilized in lieu of conventional techniques, such as differential diagnosis. He published his results in American Chemical Society journals, earned semifinalist status in the Siemens Competition, and received multiple science fair honors at the Virginia state level. In the Fall, he will begin to pursue his studies as an Angier B. Scholar at Duke University. Fiscal Year 2011: Seven Awards, plus an additional $25,000 for research for the Chairmen"s Distinguished Life Sciences Award.

Uses and Use Restrictions

No restrictions for Direct Payments for award to scientists, secondary school educators or current secondary students.

Restrictions apply only to the additional $25,000 in research funds that will be presented to the recipient of the Chairmen"s Distinguished Life Sciences Award which may be used to hire a graduate student to assist with the research or the funds may be used toward the research itself.

Funds for the research project will be released in increments, not to exceed two years, based on the progress of the research, with a final report on the results due upon completion.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

This is a competition NOT a grant application.

Individuals compete and their accomplishments are judged on how they exemplify excellence in life sciences.

Nominees must be involved in the field of life sciences research or life sciences education as follows: one adult scientist; three current secondary school educators; three current secondary school students in Biology, Chemistry or other life sciences courses.

Beneficiary Eligibility

In public/private partnership with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Foundation will present seven Life Sciences Awards to U.S. citizens permitted by their employer or any other relevant authority to accept a monetary award bestowed by the Christopher Columbus Fellowship Foundation, a Federal government agency. Seven monetary awards will be presented as follows: one $25,000 award to an adult scientist with an additional $25,000 for research; three $10,000 awards to current secondary school educators; and three $5,000 awards to current secondary school students in biology, chemistry or other life sciences course who are judged to exemplify excellence in life sciences.

Chairmen"s Distinguished Life Sciences Award
The $25,000 Chairmen"s Distinguished Life Sciences Award will be presented to an adult scientist who is making or has recently made a significant and positive contribution related to developing a "cutting edge" innovation in the field of life sciences. In addition, $25,000 in research funds will be presented to be used to hire a graduate student to assist with the research or the funds may be used toward the research itself. In order to receive the research funds, a comprehensive outline on the research project must be submitted and approved by the Foundation.

Life Sciences Educator Awards
Three $10,000 Life Sciences Educator Awards will be presented to current secondary school educators, with at least five years of teaching experience, and who are making or have recently made significant and positive contribution related to promoting the study of life sciences to students.

Life Sciences Student Awards
Three $5,000 Life Sciences Student Awards will be presented to current secondary school students who are making or have recently made significant and positive contributions related to the study of Biology, Chemistry and other life science courses.

Credentials/Documentation

No Credentials or documentation are required. This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-87.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

Preapplication coordination is not applicable.

Environmental impact information is not required for this program.

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.

12372.

Application Procedures

This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-102. This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-110. Only Nominations that meet the eligibility requirements are accepted. Nominations will be accepted from all 50 States. All Nominations are received online at www.ccolumbusfoundationawards.org. The deadline is Tuesday, April 13, 2010.

As a part of the Nomination for the Chairmen"s Distinguished Life Sciences Award, a comprehensive outline of the specific research project must accompany the initial Nomination, and will be judged as part of the overall Nomination packet submitted.

Award Procedures

All Nominations are read by the Board of Trustees of the Christopher Columbus Fellowship Foundation to select the Semifinalists. Nominators are notified of the Nominee s selection as a Semifinalist and asked to provide background material to support the Nomination. A national Evaluation Committee reviews and comments on the Semifinalist s background material. The Foundation Board and the U.S. Chamber ultimately select the winners. The Awards were presented in Washington, D.C., on July 13, 2010.

Deadlines

Feb 25, 2010 to Apr 13, 2010

Authorization

Christopher Columbus Quincentenary Coins and Fellowship Foundation, Title IV, Section 400-429, Public Law 102-281, 106 Stat. 139-145, 20 U.S.C 5701-5708.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Not Applicable.

Appeals

Not Applicable.

Renewals

Not Applicable.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

Statutory formulas are not applicable to this program.
Matching requirements are not applicable to this program.
MOE requirements are not applicable to this program.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Not applicable for the Direct Payments with Unrestricted Use for lump sums. See the following for information on how assistance is awarded/released: Lump sums for award winners are disbursed immediately. The Foundation must approve the Research project. Research funds may be disbursed in increments for up to a two-year period, with a final report on the results due upon completion.

Post Assistance Requirements

Reports

Program reports are not applicable.

Cash reports are not applicable.

Progress reports are required for the research project, with a final report on the results due upon completion.

Expenditure reports are not applicable.

Performance monitoring is not applicable.

Audits

Not Applicable.

Records

Not applicable.

Financial Information

Account Identification

76-0100-0-7-502.

Obigations

(Direct Payments for Specified Use) FY 09 $0; FY 10 est $25,000; FY 11 est $25,000 - An additional $25,000 in research funds will be presented to the recipient of the Chairmen"s Distinguished Life Sciences Award to be used to hire a graduate student to assist with the research or the funds may be used toward the research itself. In order to receive the research funds, a comprehensive outline on the research project must be submitted and approved by the Foundation. (Direct Payments with Unrestricted Use) FY 09 $45,000; FY 10 est $70,000; FY 11 est $70,000 - In 2008 and 2009, Awards were presented as follows: one $25,000 Award per year to a scientist/researcher; one $10,000 Award per year for a high school AP Biology or AP Chemistry teacher; one $5,000 Award per year for an AP Biology student and one $5,000 Award per year for an AP Chemistry student.

In 2010, the number of awards was increased to seven as follows: one $25,000 award to an adult scientist or researcher with an additional $25,000 for research funds; three $10,000 awards to a current secondary school educators; and three $5,000 awards to current secondary school students who are judged to exemplify excellence in the field of life sciences. Two secondary school awards were presented in 2010.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

$5,000-$25,000.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

Not Applicable.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

None.

Headquarters Office

Judith Shellenberger, 110 Genesee Street, Suite 390, Auburn, New York 13021 Email: JUDITHMSCOLUMBUS@CS.COM Phone: (315) 258-0090 Fax: (315) 258-0093.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Not Applicable.



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