Teachers in Toronto, St. John's and Vancouver recognized for outstanding leadership during National Biotechnology Week 2007

    OTTAWA, Sept. 26 /CNW Telbec/ - These days, it's not as much about
putting an apple on a teacher's desk, but rather looking at its cells under a
microscope, or using a DNA kit to determine its genetic characteristics.
    This year's winners of the BIOTECanada - Biogen Idec Teaching Excellence
Award have all succeeded in making biotech exciting to their students. From
using DNA decoder kits to gene splicing activities, this year's winners come
from across Canada and have introduced unique ways to bring today's technology
to tomorrow's leaders.
    The award program is part of the fourth annual National Biotechnology
Week and is a unique program dedicated to promoting and recognizing teaching
of biotechnology at the secondary school level in Canada. It includes three
annual cash awards, one for $5,000 and two for $2,500 each, to be divided
equally between the winning teacher and his/her school.
    The winners were chosen by a selection panel for their demonstrated level
of excellence and leadership within their respective school boards or
districts for bringing biotechnology to the classroom. Judged on creativity
and innovation of their teaching methods, this year's recipients have not only
found unique ways to bring biotech into the classroom, but they have also
increased awareness of biotech among their colleagues and peers. They have
also inspired their students to compete successfully at national biotech
student competitions.
    "The award program was designed to recognize teachers for their hard work
and dedication toward creating awareness of biotechnology and generating buzz
among the next generation of bioscience leaders," said Richard Francis,
President & General Manager, Biogen Idec Canada Inc.
    "This is a great award because it gives our industry the opportunity to
congratulate those who are shaping what our industry will look like in 15 or
20 years. The next wave of CEOs or venture capitalists could be any one of
those students sitting in classrooms from Vancouver to St. John's," said Peter
Brenders, President & CEO, BIOTECanada.
    The three awards will be presented to the winning teachers in their
communities throughout October.

    Dr. Danielle Gauci, Northern Secondary School, Toronto

    Throughout her seven years of teaching, Danielle has gone above and
beyond to bring biotech into Northern's classrooms, and showing students how
biotechnology can be discovered in the home through safe and fun experiments.
    Danielle organizes and delivers three biotech courses in the school while
maintaining the fully equipped biotechnology lab, and encourages her students
to participate in a number of extra curricular activities such as essay
contests and science fairs. She is also responsible for overseeing the
school's participants in the Sanofi-Aventis BioTalent Challenge, working with
students on her own time to facilitate the success of Northern's students in
the competitions. Danielle also encourages her colleagues to learn more about
biotech through workshops, working with her colleagues to integrate
biotechnology into science curriculum at the school.

    Sharon Brennan, Holy Heart High School, St. John's, NF

    Sharon Brennan, Biology Teacher, has over 20 years of teaching
experience, and 13 in her current position. She is currently the school's
Science Department Head. With limited resources, creativity, workshops,
hands-on biotech activities, curriculum supplements, guest lectures, field
trips, contests, partnerships and more, Sharon has introduced the world of
biotech to her students and colleagues at the school. Sharon succeeded in
bringing her students beyond the routine classroom textbook by introducing new
activities such as DNA extraction processes, modeling chromosome maps, etc
that have helped her students participate in national biotech-based
competitions. As a result of her dedication to biotech, an increasing number
of her students have participated in the Sanofi-Aventis Biotalent Challenge,
and Sharon herself has been recognized by receiving the Prime Minister's
Awards for Teaching Excellence (2000-2001).

    Christian Duhme, St. George's School, Vancouver

    Christian has taught biology for six years and is being recognized for
his work in the classroom instilling excitement in his students about the new
possibilities biotech innovations bring, and their societal implications.
Christian is also an instructor for the BioTrek program in Vancouver and
Calgary. BioTrek is an intensive week-long summer program giving students the
hands-on opportunity to perform biotech experiments with advanced equipment
seldom seen in regular classrooms.

    Details on the Teaching Excellence award program can be found online at
www.biotech.ca The application deadline for the 2008 award is June 20.

    About National Biotechnology Week - www.imagenenation.ca

    This week is a celebration of the imagination and innovation of Canadian
scientists and entrepreneurs from Vancouver to Halifax. Every region of the
country participates in this national program designed to inform Canadians and
showcase Canadian excellence. Participants will take part in career fairs,
tour our Canadian biotech companies, and see how biotechnology is vital to our
future. Many more will hear from influential leaders of the industry and meet
with federal and provincial decision makers. View a full calendar of over
60 events online at www.imagenenation.ca National Biotechnology Week is made
possible with the support of our regional partners and funding partners:
Amgen, AstraZeneca, Genzyme, GlaxoSmithKline, Ortho Biotech, Pfizer, Pioneer
Hi-Bred, Roche, Sanofi Pasteur Limited, and Schering-Plough Canada.

    About Biogen Idec

    Biogen Idec creates new standards of care in oncology, neurology and
immunology. As a global leader in the development, manufacturing and
commercialization of novel therapies, Biogen Idec transforms scientific
discoveries into advances in human healthcare. For press release and
additional information about the company, please visit: www.biogenidec.com

    About BIOTECanada - www.biotech.ca

    BIOTECanada is dedicated to the sustainable commercial development of
biotechnology innovation in Canada. It is the national industry-funded
association with almost 200 member companies representing the broad spectrum
of biotech constituents including emerging and established companies in the
health, agricultural, and industrial sectors, as well as academic and research
institutions and other related organizations.

For further information:

For further information: Rhowan Sivel, Senior Manager, Marketing &
Communications, BIOTECanada, (613) 230-5585 x 226, Rhowan.sivel@biotech.ca

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