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Vlad Lavrosky

Location: Calgary, AB

Award: Young Canadians


Year: 2004


Directed Evolution of Hydrocarbon Utilizing Bacteria for High Molecular Weight Substrates

News Release

Calgary student Vlad Lavrovsky named Manning Young Canadian Innovator at Canada-wide science fair

ST. JOHN'S, Newfoundland — (May 21, 2004) —Grade 12 Queen Elizabeth Senior High School student Vlad Lavrovsky today was named a Manning Young Canadian Innovator at the 2004 Canada-Wide Science Fair (CWSF) held this past week on the campus of Memorial University. This was the largest national fair to date, with 483 students working on 375 projects, and with student representation from every province and territory.

Lavrovsky, 17, is one of four recipients of the $4,500 cash awards and with it comes an invitation to attend the yet-to-be-determined site of the national Manning Awards presentation this fall, an award co-sponsored by Encana Corporation on behalf of the Foundation that promotes and recognizes innovation in Canada. It also earned him a Bronze Medal ($300) in the senior Biotechnology Division, $1,500 in other cash awards, the opportunity to attend a summer program of the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel this July, and a $2,000 entrance scholarship at the University of Western Ontario.

His project, Directed Evolution of Hydrocarbon Utilizing Bacteria for High Molecular Weight Substrates, will be of particular interest to Canada's plastics and environmental management industries. His research addresses methods of accelerating the breakdown of persistent plastics such as polyethylene and other hydrocarbon-like compounds which are placing greater demands on the environment. Lavrovsky suggests that, although microbial bioremediation of these products has been intensively researched over two decades, those processes have not be readily applied, and might give way to other processes he believes can be applied. Such applications could be helpful with in-situ and surface remediation of compounds from plastics to pesticides, remediation of groundwater and industrial effluent and upgrading of high molecular weight hydrocarbons, among others.

This is the 13th year for the Manning Innovation Awards at the Canada-Wide Science Fair.

Don Park, Executive Director