Two-time winners of the Polish Biology Olympiad and winners of silver medals at the 33rd International Biology Olympiad (IBO) Aleksandra Kowalczyk and Zuzanna Żyra will start their studies at our University in October 2023. The IBO is the world’s largest biology competition, in which teams from over 70 countries compete. It consists of two parts: practical (biochemistry, bioinformatics, botanical and zoological laboratories) and theoretical. During last year’s edition held in Yerevan (Armenia), the representatives of Poland were all in medal positions.
from the left: Aleksandra Kowalczyk (silver medal), Jagienka Mądrzak (gold medal), Zuzanna Żyra (silver medal), Szymon Bander (silver medal)
Participants of the International Group Project implemented as part of IBO worked on selected issues in teams of several people with their peers from around the world. Aleksandra Kowalczyk and her group analyzed the use of mesenchymal stem cells in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, while Zuzanna Żyra dealt with CAR-T therapy in Goodpasteure syndrome. In addition, in the national arena in 2022 and 2023, they won the main prizes in the Competition for the Małgorzata Dominiak’s Award for the best student-biologist from general secondary schools of the Pomeranian Voivodeship.
– I am interested in biochemistry, immunology and molecular biology. In high school, I participated in the Zdolni z Pomorza program, and I was a scholarship holder of the ZDOLNI Program of the Polish Children’s Fund (KFnrD) – says Aleksandra Kowalczyk from Sławno. – I took part in biological classes and workshops organized at universities and research institutes of the Polish Academy of Sciences. While studying at the MUG, I would like to take part in the research conducted here, and, if possible, develop my own scientific activity.
Zuzanna Żyra, who lives in Gdańsk, also talked about her achievements.
– I am particularly interested in biochemistry and molecular biology. I also like physical chemistry and maths. In addition to the Biology Olympics, I was a finalist of the Chemistry Olympics and a scholarship holder of the KFnrD’s ZDOLNI Program – explains Zuzana Żyra. – In high school, I was involved in many scientific extracurricular activities, such as workshops, competitions and classes in chemistry and biology. In the future, I would like to develop scientifically and combine research work with studies.
photo from private archive