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UK student in Japan top ten triumph

21 July 2009

The UK International Biology Olympiad team, sponsored by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), has performed extremely well in competition in Tsukuba, Japan.

Joseph Harvey, from Pate’s Grammar School in Cheltenham, gave an outstanding performance to win a gold medal and was placed 7th overall in the competition. He beat off strong competition, finishing ahead of 6 of the 8 gold medal winners from top teams USA and China. Joseph’s gold medal was the only one awarded to a competitor from Europe.

Ted Pynegar from Nottingham High School, Sarah Gales from King’s School in Macclesfield and Elizabeth Jefferys from Oxford High School were all awarded silver medals placed in the top 50% of competitors – a remarkable achievement for the UK.

Dr Ian Lyne, Head of Skills and Careers, BBSRC said: "These exceptional students have done so incredibly well to get to the International Biology Olympiad and compete. To go there and achieve such extraordinary results is a testament to their skill and dedication.

"BBSRC is delighted to have been able to support them in their journey to success and we hope that they will maintain such enthusiasm for bioscience throughout the rest of their lives. Joseph, Elizabeth, Sarah and Ted are an inspiration to other young scientists and we hope that their peers will catch their bioscience bug. We need young people like them to ensure the UK’s leading position in global bioscience research is maintained in the future."

Professor Douglas Kell, Chief Executive, BBSRC said: "The UK is top in the world for biology when we measure citations of research that originates here. To maintain this world class standing, we have to bring forward the next generation of world class researchers in biological sciences; this result from the International Biology Olympiad illustrates that we are on the case to do so."



Click on the thumbnails to view and download full-size images.

These images are protected by copyright law and may be used with acknowledgement.

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The four team members. Left to right: Elizabeth Jefferys, Ted Pynegar, Sarah Gales, Joseph Harvey (1.12MB)
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The four team members with Dr Celia Caulcott, BBSRC Director of Innovation and Skills. Left to right: Dr Celia Caulcott, Ted Pynegar, Elizabeth Jefferys, Joseph Harvey, Sarah Gales (1.13MB)
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The four team members with Professor Steve Jones and President of the Institute of Biology, Professor Raymond Dwek. Left to right: Professor Steve Jones, Ted Pynegar, Elizabeth Jefferys, Sarah Gales, Joseph Harvey, Professor Raymond Dwek (745KB)
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Sarah Gales receives her prize from Professor Steve Jones (753KB)
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Joseph Harvey receives his prize from Professor Steve Jones (758KB)
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Elizabeth Jefferys receives her prize from Professor Steve Jones (692KB)
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Ted Pynegar receives his prize from Professor Steve Jones (766KB)


The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) is the UK funding agency for research in the life sciences. Sponsored by Government, BBSRC annually invests around £450M in a wide range of research that makes a significant contribution to the quality of life for UK citizens and supports a number of important industrial stakeholders including the agriculture, food, chemical, healthcare and pharmaceutical sectors. BBSRC carries out its mission by funding internationally competitive research, providing training in the biosciences, fostering opportunities for knowledge transfer and innovation and promoting interaction with the public and other stakeholders on issues of scientific interest in universities, centres and institutes.

The Babraham Institute, Institute for Animal Health, Institute of Food Research, John Innes Centre and Rothamsted Research are Institutes of BBSRC. The Institutes conduct long-term, mission-oriented research using specialist facilities. They have strong interactions with industry, Government departments and other end-users of their research.


Matt Goode, Head of External Relations

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Tracey Jewitt, Media Officer

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