Recipient Named To Receive Prestigious Senator Joseph Lieberman Award

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March 30, 2015 (McLean, VA) - The Center for Excellence in Education is proud to announce that Dr. Feng Zhang has been named by the Board of Trustees and the Alumni of CEE’s STEM programs to receive the prestigious 2015 Prize for Outstanding Achievement in Science, Technology, and Business. The prestigious Award acknowledges break-through work achieved by an alumnus of the Center’s renowned Research Science Institute and USA Biology Olympiad.  The Award is presented every two years to honor Senator Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut, an Honorary Trustee at the Center.  

A $10,000 research stipend and crystal statuette will be presented to Dr. Zhang at the annual CEE Congressional Luncheon, sponsored by Capital One Bank, on Wednesday, April 22, 2015, in Room SR-325 at the Russell Senate Office Building.

CEE’s President Joann DiGennaro stated, “Dr. Zhang is an exemplary model of students supported by the Center’s programs.  The Center is honored that this outstanding scientist is the recipient of the Senator Joseph Lieberman Award.”

The Research Science Institute, offered in partnership with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), is a six week summer enrichment program emphasizing advanced theory and research in the sciences, technology, engineering, and mathematics.   Dr. Feng Zhang attended the Center’s 1999 Research Science Institute as a high school scholar from Iowa.

Dr. Feng Zhang is Assistant Professor of Biological Engineering and Brain and Cognitive Sciences at MIT.  He has made significant breakthroughs in two different fields that will have transformative impacts on future research.  During his PhD work, Feng worked in the lab of Karl Deisseroth at Stanford, and was the main researcher responsible for the invention and development of the technique now called ‘optogenetics’ which enables stimulation of multiple neurons at once in a live organism using optical excitation.  Feng has succeeded in making equally important contributions to genetic engineering.  By developing the TALEN and CRISPR system for arbitrary modification of chromosomal DNA sequence in human cells, Feng has opened the door to a qualitatively new kind of genomic manipulation.

Contact Maureen Palmer, Public Affairs Manager to attend CEE’s Congressional Luncheon

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 sponsors the Research Science Institute (RSI), the USA Biology Olympiad (USABO), and the Teacher Enrichment Program (TEP).  For more information about the Center and its programs, visit CEE’s Web site,

  Sources:     , Public Affairs Manager, or 703-448-9062 ext. 224  

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