BioEngineering High School Competition

BioEHSC™ 2020

BioEHSC Competition Chairs: Nicholas Nolan (Senior Chair), Jason Zhang (Junior Chair), Daniel Yang & Nikhil Gupta (External Relations Chairs)

Advisors & Committee:

  • Victoria Lee
  • Elizabeth Wang
  • Lily Shang
  • Bryan Wong
  • Elizabeth Zang
  • Han Zhang
  • Carol Gao
  • Sindhu Ravuri
  • Connor Tou
  • Patrick Young
  • Sankalp Sharma
  • Trevor Suh
  • Asa Smith
  • John Guan
  • Arnav Raha
  • As the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic coincided with the 2020 BioEHSC™, our top priority was to maintain participant safety; as such, this year’s competition successfully shifted to a digital platform. 39 teams from 26 distinct high schools competed, the largest number of participating high schools yet, yielding a bright and diverse cohort of competitors. With their mentors, teams explored their biological and medical engineering ideas. On Saturday, April 4th, teams presented the culmination of their work at the digital symposium to judges composed of faculty, researchers, and industry representatives.

    BioEHSC™ 2019

    BioEHSC Competition Chairs: Victoria Lee (Senior Chair), Nicholas Nolan (Junior Chair)

    Advisors & Committee:

  • Nicholas Jeffreys
  • Lily Shang
  • Connor Tou
  • Elizabeth Zhang
  • Ashna Mangla
  • Bryant Lu
  • Daniel Yang
  • Nikhil Gupta
  • Edwin Monroy
  • Kaleb Branda
  • Natalie Simonian
  • Sindhu Ravuri
  • Shirley Li
  • The 2019 BioEHSC™ saw over 50 registered teams from 23 distinct high schools from the Bay Area and as far as Nevada. This competition group was by far the largest, and focused heavily on its outreach to underprivileged communities; the results were remarkably thorough, and the teams' seven weeks of labor were rewarded in their presentations at the final symposium on Saturday, April 6. It also saw more community involvement with judges affiliated with UC Berkeley, UC San Francisco, Bolt Threads, Berkeley Lawrence National Labs, Amyris, Venture Capital Groups, Stanford, MIT, Kaiser Permanente, and more ! Presentations were split between the topics of biological and medical engineering.

    BioEHSC™ 2018

    BioEHSC Competition Chairs: Nicholas Jeffreys (Senior Chair), Victoria Lee (Junior Chair)

    Advisors & Committee:

  • Sean Kitayama
  • Jin Tanizaki
  • Rudra Mehta
  • Allen Yun
  • Brenda Yang
  • Andrew Nam
  • Connor Tou
  • Kaleb Branda
  • Kevin Godines
  • Natalie Simonian
  • The 2018 BioEHSC™ iteration sought and achieved greater diversification of its competing class, particularly to underprivileged communities, with 35 registered teams from 16 schools. Both new and old competitors alike saw the fruition of their labor on April 7, 2018, when they presented their research design projects to panels of industry professionals and academic researchers, broadly partitioned into categories of biological and medical engineering.

    BioEHSC™ 2017

    BioEHSC Competition Chairs: Sean Kitayama (Senior Chair), Nicholas Jeffreys (Junior Chair)

    Advisors & Committee:

  • Zian Liu (MTM ‘17, Graduate Adviser and Co-Founder, BioEHSC)
  • Rohan Thakur (BioE ‘17, Senior Adviser, BioEHS)
  • Jeffrey Feng (BioE ‘17, Senior Adviser, BioEHS)
  • Kenneth Jeffris
  • Zishuai (Zack) Chou
  • Lucas Kampmann
  • Victoria Lee
  • Qianhe (Eiffel) Zhang
  • Natalie Simonian
  • Tejal Gala
  • Caleb Lee
  • Alma Halgren
  • The 2017 BioEHSC™ reflected an increasing interest in the bioengineering field, growing even larger than its predecessors--with almost 170 students in attendance, the competition was bursting with talent and innovative ideas. Competitors began planning in late February, developing an engineering solution to a problem in either Medical or Biological Engineering, and presented their hypothesized designs at the final symposium on Saturday, April 1, 2017.

    BioEHSC™ 2016

    BioEHSC Competition Chair: Rohan Thakur


  • Rohan Thakur, Chair (BioE ‘17)
  • Rudra Mehta, Senior Academic Coordinator (BioE/EECS ‘18)
  • Darya Fadavi, President of BioEHS (BioE ‘17)
  • Anisha Kumar, Internal Vice President, BioEHS (BioE ‘17)
  • Jeffrey Feng, External Vice President, BioEHS (BioE ‘17)
  • Alexander Leung
  • Lucas Kampman
  • Katelyn Greene
  • Sarah Ogden
  • Bowen Wang
  • Sarah Chin
  • Key Advisers:

  • Zian Liu, Senior Adviser, BioEHS and Co-Founder, BioEHSC (BioE, Public Policy ‘16)
  • Dorian Liepmann (Prof of BioE and Faculty Adviser, BioEHS)
  • BioEHSC™ expanded once again in its third year to reach 110 students from nine high schools around the Bay Area. A critical outreach goal was to extend participation to students from underprivileged backgrounds. Research projects began in late February and were judged at the final symposium on Saturday, April 9, 2016 at Stanley Hall on the UC Berkeley campus. Exploring two distinct subfields of bioengineering: synthetic biology and biomedical devices, competitors created 22 individual projects, a selection of which is listed below:

    • Genetically modifying the TAS2R38 gene in Brussels sprouts with CRISPR technology
    • Using nanotechnology to combat antihistamine overdose
    • Using CRISPR/Cas9 to edit the genome of mosquitos by inserting a gene sequence specific for the Zika antibody
    • Catheter port system with lymph node casin to treat lymphedema
    • Addressing infectious E. coli through quorum sensing repression
    • Detection of peanut allergens utilizing commercially available glucose meters
    • Internal braces and antifibrinolytics on scoliosis treatment
    • pH sensitive hydrogels for efficient drug delivery for GERD
    • Treatment of Chagas Disease through enzymatic inhibitors and antibodies delivered with transformed E. coli
    • Eliminating hemagloblastomas from von Hippel-Lindau Syndrome via synthetic gene circuits
    • Dosage control of Measles antigen in Musa Cavendishii as an edible vaccine
    • Designing ambient noise-cancelling programmable hearing aids
    • Optimizing production of renewable butanol biofuel from waste through genetically engineered Saccharomyces cerevisiae
    • Using virtual reality and neurofeedback to treat depression
    • Smartinsulin: an innovative treatment approach for juvenile disease

    Below are pictures from the event:

    BioEHSC™ 2015

    BioEHSC Chair: Arjun K. Aditham (Bioengineering ‘15)


  • Arjun K. Aditham (Chair, Bioengineering ‘15)
  • Piyali Banerjee (BioE ‘17)
  • Jeffrey Chu (BioE ‘15)
  • Darya Fadavi (BioE ‘17)
  • Jeffrey Feng (BioE ‘17)
  • Key Advisers:

  • Zian Liu (President of BioEHS and Co-Founder, BioEHSC)
  • Rahul Nayak (MTM ‘15, Senior Adviser, BioEHS and Co-Founder, BioEHSC)
  • Teresa Head-Gordon (Chancellor’s Prof, Chemistry and Prof, BioE and CBE)
  • Dorian Liepmann (Prof of BioE and Faculty Adviser, BioEHS)
  • BioEHSC™ 2015 was our second year of the competition. We expanded to nearly 80 students in 15 teams from Albany, Harker, Logan, Lowell and Saint Francis High Schools.

    Research began in February and the symposium was held on Saturday, April 4, 2015. Competitors explored two subfields of bioengineering - synthetic biology and biomedical devices. Below is a selection of projects that students proposed for the competition:

    • Using 3D printing to create patient-specific livers for transplantation
    • Combating freshwater human parasites via biosynthesized anti-parasitics
    • Treating Drug Resistant bacteria with engineering bacterial vectors
    • Using engineered yeast for rapid, low cost detection of Ebola
    • Mitigating radiation damage from medical imaging by targeted antioxidant delivery
    • Genetically modifying potato plants to combat iron deficiencies
    • Development of novel polymers to prevent surgical infection
    • A wearable diagnostic to detect heart attacks
    • Engineered bacteria to improve hydrogen production for fuel cells

    There were 15 distinct projects in 2015.

    Below are pictures from the event:

    BioEHSC™ 2014


  • Zian Liu (Academic Coordinator, Bioengineering/Public Policy ‘16)
  • Rahul Nayak (Senior Academic Coordinator, Bioengineering ‘14)
  • Shamn Singh (Competition Chair, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science ‘14)
  • BioEHSC™ 2014 was our inaugural competition, and attracted around 50 students in 11 teams from Albany, Berkeley, Lowell, and Lynbrook High Schools.

    Research began in early March, and the symposium was held on Sunday, April 19, 2014. Competitors explored two subfields of bioengineering - synthetic biology and biomedical devices. Below is a selection of projects that students proposed for the competition:

    • Treating Vitamin A deficiency through engineering gut bacteria
    • Engineering yeast to target and treat gastrointestinal illnesses
    • Glucose sensing watch
    • Treating Alzheimer’s with retrovirus approaches
    • Bioabsorbable heart stents
    • Mask-type breathing filters

    There were a total of 11 distinct projects in 2014.

    Furthermore, here are some pictures of the day of the event: