WenYu Ruan

Sanofi Biogenius Challenge
29 October 2014

Wen Yu Ruan

Hi, my name is WenYu and I will be heading into grade 10 this September. This year was my first year participating in any type of science fair. Despite that, science has always been one of my interests ever since I was a child. Growing up, I participated in multiple science camps, watched videos, and read books- doing whatever I could do advance myself in the world of science. I hope that science fair is something that I am able to continue participating in. Outside of science, I enjoy playing piano and volleyball.

Breeding for resistance to leaf rust is the most effective strategy to prevent yield losses in wheat, a crop which contributes $11B annually to Canada’s economy. This project studied the effectiveness of several resistance genes commonly found in Western Canadian varieties, which will help breeders achieve more effective and durable leaf rust resistance in wheat - joint project with Amy Wang

What motivated you to participate in SBC? Did anyone encourage you?

I think it was my own motivation and family encouragement that got me participating in SBCC. Science fair has always been something I've always wanted to try but never was given the chance to. Therefore, when I heard about SBCC through my friend and project partner , I was thrilled and wanted to get started right away. A part from my own motivation, my dad was a big source of motivation and encouragement. He was the one that encouraged me when I was frustrated and gave me pointers when they were needed.

Where did your project idea come from?

Initially, me and my partner had a lot of different ideas revolving around mostly agriculture since Saskatchewan is an agriculture province. One day, we where discussing these ideas with my father, who works with wheat, he told us that one of his co-workers had just discovered a new gene in wheat. Therefore, we decided that were wanted to do research about this gene for no one had ever done so before.

What about your work might be of interest to other teens or impact their everyday life?

Our project impacts their everyday meal for we researched about wheat. We actually made a small advancement in protecting wheat from a disease known as leaf rust, by discovering a gene that has leaf rust resistance. Because of this disease we can lose up to 60% of our yield each year, effecting the prices of the everyday bread we eat and how much of it we can eat. Hopefully, someday we will be able to fully resist against this disease.

What was your favourite part of the experience? Was there anything you found especially challenging?

My favourite part of this experience was meeting all the new people I got to meet. From all these people, I've gain a lot more knowledge and now have more inspiration to continue in the field of science.

I personally think that the most difficult part of the whole experience was before presenting. I was really nervous and scared- I could feel the pulse of my heart. But after I got talking, I was fine and actually quite enjoyable.

What would be your advice for other youth considering participation in SBC?

My advice to them is to be prepared to keep trying. When I was working on my science fair project, I did a lot of repetition. I got very frustrated because I couldn’t seem to grasp on to a lot of the skills thus having to repeat steps. After being persistent, I got through it. One last tip would be, don't be afraid to ask questions. If you don’t understand something ask your mentor because that’s what they are there for- you wouldn’t ever know until you ask.

Sanofi Biogenius Challenge

Sanofi Biogenius Canada (SBC) is a national, biotechnology research competition that is open to high school and CEGEP students across the country.  /  Sanofi Biogenius Canada (SBC) offre aux élèves des écoles secondaires et des cégeps de l’ensemble du Canada la chance de canaliser leur créativité, leur curiosité et leurs compétences scientifiques dans des projets de recherche

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