Akhil Kondepudi Wins Brain Bee Championship, 7 Out of Top 10 Winners are Indian-Americans


BALTIMORE, MD– Akhil Kondepudi from St. Louis, Missouri, won the Brain Bee Championship. The Brain Bee is a neuroscience competition for teenagers. Seven out of top 10 winners are Indian-Americans.

Akhil Kondepudi

The Eleventh USA National Brain Bee Championship was held in Baltimore on March 16 to 18, 2018. Winners from 54 Chapter competitions in 37 states came to compete at the University of Maryland in Baltimore to test their knowledge of the human brain including such topics as intelligence, emotions, memory, sleep, vision, hearing, sensations, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia, addictions and brain research.

The competition involved a neuroanatomy laboratory practical exam with real human brains, patient diagnosis with patient actors, neurohistology, brain MRI imaging identification and orals. It is sponsored by the Department of Neural and Pain Sciences of the University of Maryland School of Dentistry.

Kondepudi will represent the United States at the World Brain Bee Championship hosted by the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies in July. Besides a monetary prize he was also given an 8-week internship in a neuroscience laboratory. A donation is also given to the Disabled American Veterans.

Second place went to Hemanth Asirvatham of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Third place went to Sehej Bindra of Piscataway, New Jersey. Colin Wood from Worcester, Massachusetts came in fourth; Sneha Shinde from Rootstown, Ohio came in fifth; Aayush Setty from Atlanta, Georgia came in sixth; Lasya Kambhampati from Kansas City, Kansas came in seventh; Veda Chanda from Hershey, Pennsylvania came in eighth; Sarah Shirley from Little Rock, Arkansas came in ninth; and Jessica Goldstein from Hempstead, New York came in tenth.

The keynote address was given by Dr. Marcela Romero-Reyes, DDS, PhD, Director of the University of Maryland Brotman Facial Pain Clinic. The event was coordinated by Angela Choi and Ricky Lim of the University of Maryland, and Alexander Skvortsov of the International Youth Neuroscience Association. Dozens of volunteers were University of Maryland School of Dentistry Students. Judges included Dr. Paul Shepard of the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center, Dr. Vikas Saxena of the University of Maryland Medical School, and Natasha Topolski of the National Institutes of Mental Health.

Founder Myslinski with Champion

The USA Brain Bee is an Official Regional Brain Bee of the International Brain Bee which is lead by a Board of Directors from the Society for Neuroscience, the American Psychological Association, the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives, The International Brain Research Organization, and the Federation of European Neurosciences Societies. Currently there are about 200 Brain Bee Chapters in about 50 countries in 6 continents. Each Chapter conducts a competition involving many high schools. Those winners represent their cities at their respective National Championships. Each National Champion is then invited to compete in the World Championship held every year in a different city. Past and future venues for the World Championship include Copenhagen, Denmark; San Diego, United States; Vienna, Austria; Cape Town, South Africa, Baltimore, United States; Toronto, Canada; Berlin, Germany; Cairns, Australia; Montreal, Canada; Florence, Italy; Grenada, West Indies; and Washington, DC, United States.

Dr. Norbert Myslinski (Photo with winner is attached) founded the International Brain Bee twenty years ago and says “Its purpose is to motivate young students to learn about the human brain and inspire them to seek careers in the basic and clinical neurosciences to help treat and find cures for brain disorders. We build better brains to fight brain disorders.”  Dr. Myslinski was the 2016 Science Educator of the Year  as determined by the international organization The Society for Neuroscience.

Here is the list of all the Chapter winners who competed in the USA National Championship:

2018 Brain Bee Chapter Champions Competing in the USA Brain Bee Championship in Alphabetical Order by State Postal Code

1 A AK Anchorage* Lara Millette
2 A AL Birmingham Sanjeev Gurshaney
3 A AR Little Rock Sarah Shirley
4 A AZ Glendale Grace Xu
5 B CA Hayward* Jaydev Bhateja
6 B CA Los Angeles Anish Natarajan
7 B CA San Diego Minha Kim
8 B CT Hartford Siri Palreddy
9 C DC Washington* Jerry Yang
10 C DE Dover Sophia Shah
11 C FL Gainesville Keshav Motwani
12 C FL Miami Pavan Gudoor
13 D FL Orlando* Brando Mora
14 D FL Tallahassee Gabriel Gonzalez
15 D GA Atlanta Aayush Setty
16 D IA Iowa City Joyce Li
17 E IL Chicago* Stuart Lukz
18 E IN Indianapolis Sepehr Asgari
19 E KS Kansas City Lasya Kambhampati
20 E LA New Orleans Emma Freeman
21 E MA Worcester Colin Wood
22 F MD Baltimore City* Justin Bai
23 F MD Columbia Alena Shen
24 F MD Stevenson Kathryn Getter
25 F ME Biddeford Alexandra Petermann
26 F MI East Lansing Madhav Ramesh
27 G MI Mt. Pleasant* Carson Moen
28 G MN Minneapolis Hemanth Asirvatham
29 G MO St. Louis Akhil Kondepudi
30 G NH Hanover Sithara Nambiar
31 G NJ Egg Harbor Regina Chau
32 H NJ Newark* Matt Dreyer
33 H NJ Piscataway Sehej Bindra
34 H NM Albuquerque Priyanka Velappan
35 H NY Albany Maria Hancu
36 I NY Buffalo* DesTiny Overton
37 I NY Hempstead Jessica Goldstein
38 I NY New York Ryan Bose-Roy
39 I NY Rensselaer Kayleigh McCagg
40 J NY Rochester* Brian Lin
41 J NY White Plains Malhaar Agrawal
42 J OH Rootstown Sneha Shinde
43 J OK Oklahoma City Khayla Black
44 K PA Hershey* Veda Chanda
45 K PA Philadelphia Kavish Senthilkumar
46 K PA Scranton Evan Qiang
47 K RI Providence Clare Tyler
48 K TX Dallas Chaucer Langbert#
49 L UT Salt Lake City* Viviana Tovar
50 L VA Lynchburg Ashley Okimoto
51 L VT Burlington Isabel Rosenberg
52 L WA Seattle Veehadhari Kollipara
53 L WV Morgantown Fathima Shaik
54 L NV Las Vegas Farin Tavacoli


# Second place winner who will be taking the place of the first place winner Matthew Ho



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