A recent West Virginia University graduate claimed the top spot in a global competition for young scientists. Lei Wang, who earned a Ph.D. in reproductive physiology from WVU’s Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design this month, won the graduate award in this year’s Alltech Young Scientist Program, announced recently at Alltech’s 30th Annual International Symposium in Lexington, Kentucky.

“I was so nervous before the final competition,” Wang said. “Everybody gave a very good presentation, and I just feel lucky to have won this award.”

There was unprecedented interest in the competition this year, with more than 8,500 participants, representing the future generation of animal, human and plant health scientists. The Alltech Young Scientist Competition, now in its ninth year, attracts the brightest scientific thinkers from colleges and universities around the world awarding students for their scientific discoveries.

Eight regional winners representing Asia, Europe, Latin America and North America came to Lexington, Kentucky, to present their research before a panel of international judges for the graduate grand prize of $10,000.

Wang, originally from China, presented her research work focused on novel functional roles of oocyte-specific nuclear transporter (Kpna7) in relation to developmental competency of rainbow trout oocyte and early embryo.

In addition to the opportunity to compete, Wang found that the event created the chance for fellowship as well.

“The fellow students are from all over the world and are all very genuine people,” Wang said. We established good friendship between each other.”

The symposium gave Wang the opportunity to absorb information about future research as it will impact the business of agriculture, and it left her feeling that the field “has a bright future.”

Wang’s advisor, Jianbo Yao, associate professor of animal biotechnology and genomics, is thrilled with his prot�g�’s success.

“Lei is such a wonderful and talented person in my lab, and I am so proud of her achievements,” Yao said. “Her success is attributed not only to her dedication to science but also to the vigorous training she received from our program at WVU.”

“This year’s competition brought eight outstanding students from around the globe to Lexington to compete. It was an exciting competition and the research papers presented all have the potential to result in significant improvements for the field of aqua, plant technology and environmental science,” said Dr. Inge Russell, director of the Alltech Young Scientist Program.

“This year’s winners proved yet again the importance of investing in education and fostering innovation in our young people,” said Suniti Mujumdar, Alltech’s manager of education initiatives. “It is vital to recognize and harness the power of these talented young minds because the future of scientific innovation is in their hands.”

To participate in this program, students wrote a scientific paper that focused on an aspect of animal health and feed technology. The first phase of the program included a competition within each competing country, followed by a zone competition. The winners of each zone moved on to a regional phase and the regional winners competed in the global phase.

The Alltech Young Scientist Program is currently taking applicants for its 2015 competition. To enter, visit the website at www.alltechyoungscientist.com.

“Alltech is very proud and honoured to assist scientific graduates from around the globe in their research, and we encourage students to embark on their scientific journeys with us” said Dr. Pearse Lyons, founder and president of Alltech.



CONTACT: David Welsh, Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Design
304.293.2394, David.Welsh@mail.wvu.edu

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