media release

SFU researchers mentor national winner

May 27, 2014

Sandy Loi, health sciences communications, 789.988.1923 (cell),
Carol Thorbes, PAMR, 778.782.3035,
Note: Media wanting to interview Nicole Ticea should contact Sandy Loi directly.


A Vancouver independent high school student whose work with Simon Fraser University researchers on an HIV test garnered her a spot in a national science competition will now compete at its international level.

A novel method of HIV detection for newborns under 18 months of age and for early-stage HIV infected adults earned 15-year-old Nicole Ticea first prize at the 2014 Sanofi BioGENEius Challenge Canada (SBCC).

Mentored by SFU science grad student Gursev Anmole and his supervisor, associate professor Mark Brockman, Ticea created the first test capable of analyzing HIV viral nucleic acids in a simple, non-lab setting.

The national competition’s judges deemed Ticea’s development “an incredibly innovative solution to a global challenge.”

Ticea will now compete for Canada on June 22-25 at the International BioGENEius Challenge in San Diego, California. The international first place winner receives a US$7,500 cash award.

Ticea was among 10 brilliant 15- to 18-year-old high school scientists from nine Canadian regions who took part in the national finals. They had placed first at earlier regional SBCC competitions this spring.

Due to her heavy academic schedule at York House where she is a Grade 10 student, Ticea isn’t available for media interviews until the afternoon of Wed., May 28.

Simon Fraser University is consistently ranked among Canada's top comprehensive universities and is one of the top 50 universities in the world under 50 years old. With campuses in Vancouver, Burnaby and Surrey, B.C., SFU engages actively with the community in its research and teaching, delivers almost 150 programs to more than 30,000 students, and has more than 125,000 alumni in 130 countries.


Simon Fraser University: Engaging Students. Engaging Research. Engaging Communities.

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