2022 DNA Day Essay Contest Winners

2022 DNA Day Essay Contest Logo

Congratulations to our winners and thank you to all who participated. Happy DNA Day!

2022 Question

The “Father of Genetics,” Gregor Mendel, was born 200 years ago in northern Moravia (now Czechia).  His experiments with pea plants led to observations and conclusions that became fundamental principles of genetic inheritance. These principles include: 1) Each organism has two versions (or alleles) of each gene; 2) One allele is inherited from the mother, and one allele is inherited from the father; 3) Alleles can be dominant or recessive; 4) Genes for different traits are inherited independently from each other. Because of Mendel’s contributions, traits and disorders that are caused by variation in one gene (For Example, Huntington’s disease, Cystic fibrosis) are called Mendelian traits or disorders. There are also complex traits and disorders (For Example, diabetes, hypertension) that are caused by variation in many genes and, often, environmental factors.

  1. How do Mendel’s discoveries help us understand Mendelian disorders?
  2. How does the study of Mendelian disorders help us understand complex diseases?
First-place winner Man Tak Mindy Shie (courtesy of Singapore International School (Hong Kong))
First-place winner Man Tak Mindy Shie (courtesy of Singapore International School (Hong Kong))

2022 Winners

1st PlaceMan Tak Mindy Shie, Grade 12
Teacher: Dr. Siew Hwey Alice Tan
School: Singapore International School (Hong Kong)
Location: Hong Kong, China

2nd Place: Gillian Wells, Grade 11
Teacher: Mrs. Rebecca Hodgson
School: Ulverston Victoria High School
Location: Ulverston, England, UK

3rd Place: Yiyang Zhang, Grade 11
Teacher: Dr. Qiongyu Zeng
School: Shanghai High School International Division
Location: Shanghai, China

Honorable Mentions

Lena Chae
Glenbrook South High School
Glenview, Illinois
Teacher: Mrs. Marianne Gudmundsson
Aadit Jain
International Academy
Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
Teacher: Mrs. Suzanne Monck
Sharanya Ravishanker
Conestoga High School
Berwyn, Pennsylvania
Teacher: Mrs. Liz Gallo
Zhiyuan Shi
BASIS International School Hangzhou
Hangzhou, China
Teacher: Dr. Dongchen Xu
Audric Thakur
Reading School
Reading, United Kingdom
Teacher: Ms. Francis Howson
Emma Tse
Cheltenham Ladies’ College
Cheltenham, United Kingdom
Teacher: Ms. Helen Stuart
Hannah Wilson
Raphael House Rudolf Steiner School
Lower Hutt, New Zealand
Teacher: Ms. Sarah McKenzie
Emma Youngblood
St. John Paul the Great Catholic High School
Dumfries, virginia
Teacher: Dr. Clare Kuisell
Vivian Yuan
Ridgewood High School
Ridgewood, New Jersey
Teacher: Mr. Ryan Van Treuren
Xinyi Zhang
South Brunswick High School
Monmouth Junction, New Jersey
Teacher: Ms. Jessica Pagone

Where in the world our submissions come from:

About the Contest

The contest aims to challenge students to examine, question, and reflect on important ideas and issues related to human genetics. Competitive essays are expected to convey substantive, well-reasoned, and evidence-based arguments that demonstrate deep understanding.

Essays are evaluated through three rounds of judging, and every essay is read by a minimum of three judges. Top-scoring essays have typically been scored by a dozen or more judges.

Read the 2022 DNA Day Essay Contest Announcement Press Release.

Questions/Comments: Contact dnaday@ashg.org

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