2017 USABO Bio Olympiad Dream Team

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Top Four U.S. High School Biology Students Selected for Team USA 2017

‘Dream Team’ will compete at International Biology Olympiad in Coventry, United Kingdom

McLean, VA (June 9, 2017)—Two high school students from Texasand one each from California and Massachusetts have been selected by The Center for Excellence in Education (CEE) as gold medalists in the 15th annual USA Biology Olympiad (USABO) National Finals.  USABO’s ‘Dream Team’ will represent the United States as Team USA at the International Biology Olympiad (IBO) from July 23-30 in Coventry, United Kingdom.

Team USA 2017 Gold Medalists are: 

  • Edward Lee of Liberal Arts and Science Academy (LASA), Austin, Texas
  • Alexander Tsao of Troy High School, Fullerton, California
  • Catherine Wang of Lexington High School, Lexington, Massachusetts
  • Thomas Xiong of Seven Lakes High School, Katy, Texas

Team USA was chosen from among 20 USABO National Finalists based on practical and theoretical tests that followed 10 days of intensive biology instruction at Marymount University in Arlington, VA.  At Marymount, USABO Finalists studied with leading U.S. experts in the fields of cellular & molecular biology, plant anatomy & physiology, animal anatomy & physiology, genetics & evolution, ecology, ethology, and biosystematics.  Nearly 10,000 high school students from across the country registered for this year’s USABO.

The IBO is an annual competition for pre-university students, ages 14 to 19.  All IBO participants place in the top four of their countries’ National Biology Olympiad.  Kathy Frame, CEE director of USABO and Special Projects, will accompany Team USA to the U.K. in July.

All Team USA Members have medaled in the IBO since the United States first began competing in 2003, garnering a total of 45 gold, nine silver and two bronze medals.  At IBO, Team USA has earned no less than two gold medals each year for 14 consecutive years, and has achieved the coveted world #1 ranking in 2011, 2013, and 2015.

Team USA 2017 Silver Medalists are: 

  • Charles Dai, West Windsor-Plainsboro High School, Plainsboro, New Jersey
  • Jacob Umans, Capistrano Valley High School, Mission Viejo, California
  • Xuchen Wei, Carmel High School, Carmel, Indiana 
  • Daniel Wu, Timber Creek High School,Orlando, Florida

Team USA 2017 Bronze Medalists are: 

  • Mihir Khambete, Cupertino High School, Cupertino, California
  • Pranav Lalgudi, Lynbrook High School, San Jose, CA
  • Neeraj Prasad, Thomas Jefferson School for Science & Technology, Alexandria, Virginia
  • Forest Yang, Monta Vista High School, Cupertino, CA

The mission of the USABO is to encourage excellence in biology education throughout the United States and to challenge students and their teachers to reach the gold standard in biology, said Frame.  The 20 finalists—representing nine states—were selected based on their scores from the USABO Open and Semifinal Exams.

USABO alumni have earned MacMillan Grants, Goldwater Scholarships, Hollings Scholarships (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), American Heart Association Undergraduate Fellowships, National Science Foundation Fellowships, The Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans, the Linen Prize in Chinese, and the Clara Levillain Prize.  They have also been selected as Marshall Scholars and Churchill Scholars.

About the Center for Excellence in Education
The Center for Excellence in Education was founded in 1983 by the late Admiral H.G. Rickover and Joann P. DiGennaro, President of the Center. The Center's mission is to nurture high school and university scholars to careers of excellence and leadership in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and to encourage collaboration between and among leaders in the global community. CEE’s programs include the Research Science Institute (RSI), the USA Biology Olympiad (USABO), and the Teacher Enrichment Program (TEP).  

Media Contact:  , 703-448-9062 ext. 223
USABO Contact: , 571-228-0098


Related websites:
Center for Excellence in Education: http://www.cee.org/
Teacher Enrichment Program: http://www.cee.org/teacher-enrichment-program
Research Science Institute: http://www.cee.org/research-science-institute
USA Biology Olympiad: http://www.cee.org/usa-biology-olympiad-usabo
BioSTEM Clubs: https://www.cee.org/biostem-clubs

DREAM TEAM:  These top four U.S. high school biology students will compete at the IBO July 23-30 in Coventry, United Kingdom. They are the Gold Medalists in the 2017 USA Biology Olympiad National Finals sponsored by the Center for Excellence in Education.  Pictured from left: Alexander Tsao of California, Catherine Wang of Massachusetts, Edward Lee of Texas, and Thomas Xiong of Texas. (CEE Photo/Heather Curry)


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