Oak Ridge High School Student Gets Gold at the USA Biology Olympiad National Finals


Oak Ridge High School student Henry Shen is one of four students who earned gold medals at the 17th Annual USA Biology Olympiad National Finals.

This, according to The Center for Excellence in Education.

UC San Diego hosted the finals June 22-July 3.  Nearly 10,000 students from 498 schools and 45 states registered in the nationwide high school competition.

“Congratulations to all of the USA Biology Olympiad students for participating in a memorable event hosted for the second year at UC San Diego’s biology laboratories and teaching facilities,” said Kit Pogliano, Dean of UC San Diego’s Division of Biological Sciences, in a statement.

“We are indebted to Associate Professor Scott Rifkin for his development of the curriculum and to all of the faculty and staff who made this event a success. We are confident in Team USA’s preparation here and wish them all the best as they head to the international competition.”

During the 10 days of the National Finals, 20 students participated in intensive theoretical and practical tutorials. The high school students studied with leading U.S. biologists who are experts in the fields of cellular and molecular biology, plant anatomy and physiology, animal anatomy and physiology, genetics and evolution, ecology, ethology, and biosystematics. Kakoli Mitra, Ph.D., Manager, USABO and Kathy Frame, Consultant/Advisor USABO and Special Projects, mentored the scholars.

At the closing, USABO medal ceremony, Dr. Pam R. Taub, Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Department of Medicine, at the University of California San Diego (UC San Diego), participated as the Keynote Speaker. Joann DiGennaro, President of CEE, provided closing remarks.

2019 USABO Gold Medalists are: Christopher Wang, Acton-Boxborough Regional High School, Acton, MA; Jason Zhang, Troy High School, Troy, MI; Suhas Chundi, Carmel High School, Carmel, IN; and Henry Shen, Oak Ridge High School, Oak Ridge, TN. They will participate as Team USA in the 30th Annual International Biology Olympiad in Szeged, Hungary from July 14 to July 21, 2019.

2019 USABO Silver Medalists are: Joseph Dong, Troy High School, Fullerton, CA; Atharv Oak, West Windsor-Plainsboro HS South, NJ; Nithin Parsan, Clements High School, Sugar Land, TX; and Albert Zhang, North Hollywood High School, Hollywood, CA.

2019 USABO Bronze Medalists are: Richard Chai, West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South, West Windsor, NJ; Charles Huang, Lynbrook High School, San Jose, CA; Kimberly Shen, Mounds View High School, Arden Hills, MN; and John Yang, Princeton High School, Princeton, NJ.

“CEE is so proud of Team USA that worked so hard to compete at the USABO Finals,” said Joann DiGennaro, President of CEE.

“They are recognized as the highest achieving biology students in this nation. This was a remarkable experience for Team USA to use the amazing research laboratories and campus resources at UC San Diego,” she added.

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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Oak Ridge High School” by Oak Ridge High School








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One Thought to “Oak Ridge High School Student Gets Gold at the USA Biology Olympiad National Finals”

  1. William R. Delzell

    I’m glad to see that the Biology Gold-Medal winners in Tennessee came from a public school instead of from a private one. Maybe their achievement will give Tennessee voters an incentive to upgrade their public schools instead of supporting vouchers and other scams that are simply devised by members of both parties to destroy our public school system and replace it with a privatized system that only the very rich can afford. A robust PUBLIC school system is what made our country great by enabling all middle-class parents(though, unfortunately, not all low-income and racial minority parents) to give their children an AFFORDABLE good education that would give their offspring access to big-ticket jobs to enter into-or stay in- the middle class. We must oppose attempts at privatization as privatization is a plot to destroy our vitally needed public school system.