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Moorestown student wins award at International Science Fair

High school senior Maya Butani receives Humane Science Award for biochemistry project.

The National Anti-Vivisection Society (NAVS) is pleased to announce that Maya Butani of Moorestown High School was named as a winner of the Humane Science Award at the 2022 Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF). The event, the world’s largest international STEM competition for high school students, was held in Atlanta, GA, from May 8-13.

Maya received this special award for her Biochemistry project, “Novel Plant-Derived Scaffolds Influence Cellular Mechanotransduction and Differentiation.” She received a cash prize of $2,500 for her outstanding work.

The Humane Science Award is given to students whose projects show scientific excellence as well as advance science using alternatives to animal experimentation, especially through the replacement of live animals with non-animal methodologies. Projects that include non-invasive observation of animals are also considered for recognition.

This year marked the 20th year of NAVS presenting its Humane Science Award, honoring students like Maya, whose projects demonstrate innovation and scientific advancement using alternatives to animal experimentation. NAVS is the only animal advocacy organization that presents an award at ISEF.

Judging for this year’s award was conducted by a NAVS team that included Science Advisor Pam Osenkowski, Senior Manager of Advocacy and Policy Meredith Blanchard, and Staff Research Assistant Anna Madsen. The evaluation process included interviews with students and an independent review of projects by the NAVS team.

Maya was one of only three students selected to receive this year’s Humane Science Award, chosen from projects submitted by 1,750 young scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs and inventors.

NAVS established the Humane Science Award in 2001 to recognize scientific endeavors that have the potential to reduce or replace animal use in research, further our understanding of animal behavior, or discover solutions to animal health problems without harming animals. In giving this award, NAVS has also provided an important incentive to dozens of young scientists to continue their work without harming animals.

NAVS congratulates Maya Butani for her work in advancing better, more humane science that does not harm animals.

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