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Five Days Left For Next Generation Scientists

Five Days Left For Next Generation Scientists

Genesis Research National Science and Technology Forum Applications Due Now

Auckland, 5 August 2002 – Kiwi Year 12 students with a thirst for scientific knowledge have only until Friday to register for New Zealand’s premier international student science programme. Students wanting to apply for the Genesis Research National Science and Technology Forum should contact their school’s Head of Science or their local Rotary Club for an application kit.

Each year the Genesis Research National Science and Technology Forum helps accelerate the scientific aspirations of around 130 young people. Six budding kiwi scientists are selected from the local Forum to attend the sister programme in Canberra, and two students are selected to travel to London for the International Youth Science Forum.

Over the past 14 years more than1600 students have taken part in the Genesis Research National Science and Technology Forums, organised by Rotary and sponsored by biotechnology company Genesis Research and Development, and most have gone on to excel in undergraduate and post-graduate studies.

“We’re seeking students who will benefit from the academic and personal experiences that the Forum provides. We encourage them to develop leadership and communication skills because Forum students will be the future leaders of science and technology in New Zealand,” says Forum Chairman Professor Roy Geddes. “Our Forum is designed to encourage top scholars to enter a career in science. While the focus is very much on the academic programme and an introduction to university life, we ensure the students also have time for sport and leisure, workplace visits, and most importantly forging friendships with peers with similar interests.”

“The Forum aims to acquaint students with the diverse opportunities that can come from studying science and to broaden their experience of science,” says Dr Jim Watson, Chief Executive of Genesis Research and Development. “The academic programme includes subjects that students will be less familiar with such as food science, psychology, geo science, electronics, earth science, landscape architecture, structural biology, computer aided design, and microbiology, as well as more recognisable physics, chemistry, biology and applied mathematics.”

For two weeks students will participate in intensive teaching programmes combined with field exercises and visits to research facilities where they will get first hand experience of life as a scientist. As well as laboratory and field station work, students will visit Genesis Research and Development, ESR Forensics, Industrial Research and others, and have opportunities to present research ‘papers’ and hold discussions on ethical issues.

The Forum is open to high achieving year 12 science students and will be held in Auckland on 11-25 January 2003. Entries must be sent to the student’s local Rotary club by 9 August 2002. Rotary clubs often sponsor students for whom the $995 fee presents a barrier.

There are six tertiary institutions involved in the Forum, with classes, lectures and laboratories being run by senior staff from The University of Auckland, UNITEC, Manukau Institute of Technology, Auckland University of Technology, Massey University at Albany and The University of Waikato. However, no effort is made to recruit the students to any of these institutions for their tertiary studies.

The students are selected from throughout New Zealand with nine students coming from the Pacific Islands and Australia to attend the Forum.

About Genesis
Founded in 1994, Genesis is a New Zealand-based biotechnology company committed to the development of innovative products in health and plant biotechnology from its broad genomic platform. Genesis partners with industry leaders to develop products which have global market potential through the mining of its extensive microbe, plant and mammalian EST databases.

Genesis’ Health Sciences Division focuses on signalling pathways involved in immune diseases and cancer and has an extensive patent portfolio. It has three programmes in human clinical development utilising PVAC™ and AVAC™ for the treatment of psoriasis, atopic dermatitis (eczema) and asthma. Additional pre-clinical programmes are developing YB-1, FGFR5 and Epigen as targets for treatment of cancer and immune mediated diseases. The patented BioStore solutions for storage of tissues and living cells are also in pre-clinical development. Collaborations are maintained with Immunex Corporation (recently acquired by Amgen Inc. NASDAQ: AMGN), Corixa Corporation (NASDAQ: CRXA), SR Pharma (LSE: SPA), and Jurox Pty Ltd.

The Plant Sciences division is focusing on key cell signalling genes - novel hormones and transcription factors - to control commercial traits including growth rates and wood fibre quality in trees, nutritional content of forage grasses, flowering control, salt and cold tolerance. It has developed comprehensive plant EST databases including the world’s largest EST database for commercial forestry species. It has research collaborations with ArborGen LLC, Wrightson (NZSE: WRI), HortResearch, AgResearch and Landcare. Genesis is also undertaking significant unpartnered research programmes in novel plant hormones. A number of patents are held including 12 steps in the production of lignin.

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