MUNSTER | Nathan Kondamuri, Munster High School senior, has won the International BioGENEius Challenge, a competition for high school students who demonstrate an exemplary understanding of biotechnology through science research projects.

Fourteen students from the U.S., Canada and Western Australia competed in this year’s Challenge. Kondamuri will receive an award of $7,500.

He took home second place honors last year for his biofuel cell project.

Winners were announced Tuesday at the keynote luncheon at the 2012 BIO International Convention, the largest global event for the biotechnology industry.

Kondamuri’s project titled, “A Novel Porphyrin Based Solar Cell Combining Coordinated Metal Ion Substitution and Self-Assembly to Broaden the Absorption Spectrum to Efficiently Create Sustainable Electrical Energy” won him the challenge.

Students were evaluated on the quality of their research and display, their responses to questions relating to their scientific knowledge, and the potential commercial applications of their research.

“The aim of the International BioGENEius Challenge is to engage, excite and educate students about biotechnology and its immense potential for solving human health, food and environmental problems,” said Tom Wiggans, chairman of the Biotechnology Institute.

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