USABO Team USA 2017 is #1 in the World

Email CEE Icon

Team USA High School Biology Students are Tops in World; Earn Four Gold Medals at 2017 International Biology Olympiad

McLean, VA (July 31, 2017) — The U.S. is again home to the world’s top high school biology team—winning top honors for the fourth time in seven years—as two high school students from Texas, one from Massachusetts, and one from California earned gold medals at the 28th International Biology Olympiad (IBO) held at The University of Warwick in Coventry, United Kingdom. The students represented the United States at IBO after winning the USA Biology Olympiad (USABO) National Finals, sponsored by the Center for Excellence in Education (CEE)..

IBO 2017 Gold Medalists from Team USA, and their IBO individual rankings are:

  • Edward Lee of Liberal Arts and Science Academy (LASA), Austin, Texas (#10)
  • Alexander Tsao of Troy High School, Fullerton, California (#2)
  • Catherine Wang of Lexington High School, Lexington, Massachusetts (#23)
  • Thomas Xiong of Seven Lakes High School, Katy, Texas (#13)

“Team USA honored our country at the International Biology Olympiad by winning four Gold Medals” said Joann DiGennaro, President of CEE. “Edward, Alexander, Catherine and Thomas have earned the world’s recognition for their academic excellence. They are exceptional scholars headed for outstanding careers in science.”

IBO 2017 included 264 students from 68 countries, according to Kathy Frame, CEE director of USABO and Special Projects. Frame noted that all Team USA Members have medaled in the IBO since the United States first began competing in 2003, garnering a total of 49 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 now achieved the coveted world #1 ranking in 2011, 2013, 2015, and 2017.

USABO encourages excellence in biology education throughout the United States and to challenge students and their teachers to reach the gold standard in biology, said Frame. Nearly 10,000 high school students from across the country registered for this year’s USABO. Earlier this summer, 20 USABO National 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.

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).  


DREAM TEAM: These top four U.S. high school biology students won four gold medals at the 2017 International Biology Olympiad held July 23-30 at the University of Warwick in Coventry, United Kingdom, and were recognized as the top scoring team in the world. Pictured from left: Edward Lee of Texas, Alexander Tsao of California, Catherine Wang of Massachusetts, and Thomas Xiong of Texas.


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


Related websites:
USA Biology Olympiad:
Center for Excellence in Education:
International Biology Olympiad:


Event Calendar

News & Announcements