Biolympiads student Harini Venkatesh Triumphs at 2024 USA Brain Bee Championship

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The 2024 USA National Brain Bee Championship, held April 19-21 at the University of Central Florida, featured 54 top students from 32 states. Harini Venkatesh, a 10th grader from New Hampshire, won first place, earning $1,500 and a chance to compete in the International Brain Bee. She is a student of the Biolympiads Academy. Second and third places went to Rishi Suresh and Anvi Jampani, respectively. The event, directed by Dr. Norbert Myslinski and Dr. Manuella Oliveira Yassa, included rigorous tests and engaging neuroscience activities, inspiring young scientists to pursue careers in the field.

To prepare for nationals, Harini revised the prescribed materials from the website – Brain Facts and Neuroscience: the Science of the Brain, and for the anatomy and patient diagnosis portions, she mainly used the Brain Bee Bootcamp materials from the classes at Biolympiads she attended last year. In addition, she has also been exercising her knowledge of neuroscience at the North South Foundation’s Brain Bee competitions throughout middle school, so that gave her a really solid foundation on which she could build to really get into the weeds of the neuroscience that she studied for nationals this year. 

About the USA Brain Bee

The USA Brain Bee, founded in 1998, is an international competition aimed at inspiring teenagers with an interest in neuroscience. Each year, high school students from around the world compete in local Brain Bee contests. Local winners in the US advance to the national championship, held annually in April, and national champions then compete in the International Brain Bee during the summer. The event is directed by Dr. Norbert Myslinski and Dr. Manuella Oliveira Yassa, who work to foster a love of neuroscience among young people.

Competition Details

This year’s competition included a written exam, lab practicum, patient diagnosis, and an oral round. Participants also attended keynote lectures by University of Central Florida faculty members Dr. Kiminobu Sugaya and Dr. Stephen King, joined a panel on neuroscience education and careers, and engaged in activities like sheep brain dissections. Parents and guardians were welcome to participate in many sessions.

Harini’s mother reflected on the event, moved by a lecture on the lengthy FDA approval process and the dedication of the professors involved in the contest. She expressed pride and hope for Harini’s future contributions to neuroscience.

Top 10 Participants

  1. Harini Venkatesh – Upper Valley Brain Bee
  2. Rishi Suresh – Arizona Brain Bee
  3. Anvi Jampani – University of Michigan Brain Bee
  4. Sophia Eowyn Hsu – James Madison University Brain Bee
  5. Eric Du – Kansas City Brain Bee
  6. Havisha Kalpatthi – Pittsburgh Brain Bee
  7. Charles Solazzo – Rutgers Central New Jersey Brain Bee
  8. Abhinav Gutha – Dallas Fort Worth Brain Bee
  9. Rebecca Ahn – Central Massachusetts Brain Bee
  10. Eric Pan – Houston Brain Bee

Closing Remarks

Dr. Manuella Oliveira Yassa highlighted the importance of the Brain Bee in fostering the development of young scientists. The event provides valuable experiences and connections with peers, college students, and faculty, helping to build a network of mentors and support.

Harini’s mother added that the competition demonstrated to Harini that with effort, dedication, resilience, and persistence, she can achieve anything.

The event was organized by Akhila Darmala, Dr. Alicia Hawthorne, and the UCF team, with sponsorship from the University of Central Florida Student Government, Neuroscience Alliance, Nemours Children’s Health, and Plasticity Centers.

For more details about the 2024 USA Brain Bee and the list of participants, visit Follow the USA Brain Bee on Instagram at @usa.brainbee. For further information, contact Dr. Manuella Oliveira Yassa at or (949) 824-5193. Learn more about the International Brain Bee at

Join Us for Excellence in Neuroscience

At Biolympiads, we celebrate Harini’s success and offer specialized tutoring to help students achieve their academic goals. Our expert guidance and resources ensure students excel in competitions like the Brain Bee. Enroll today to start your journey towards academic excellence and future achievements in neuroscience! All details can be found at

The next batch of the Introductory Brain Bee camp 2024 starts on June 29, 2024. Register at