Wiltshire Publications

Westbury teen smashes UK record at international neuroscience comp

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A STUDENT from Westbury, 17-year-old Tim Lee, has made history by finishing seventh in the 2021 International Brain Bee competition which took place on 5th-8th November – the best finish the UK has achieved in the neuroscience teen challenge event. 

Tim Lee.

Tim, a student at South Wiltshire Grammar School in Salisbury, had to prove himself, first by competing in the online Brain Bee competition and then in the regional qualifiers. After winning the national challenge, Tim was chosen to represent the UK on the international stage. 

Tim spoke about the challenges he faced in the international competition, “The actual competition was in London, at the London Met Uni. There were five different exams that we had to do. There was a written exam, a patient diagnosis (looking at different diseases), there was the neuro anatomy exam as well, where you have to point out the parts and find the function, the neuro histology section whereby we had to identify different types of neural tissue from microscope slides and finally, a live Q&A where we could only give a one to three-word answer. 

“I came seventh in the world. I found out like a week after and it’s the best the UK has ever done – the previous best was 12th in the UK. This was the final stage, and there were 53 participants taking part from 31 countries. 

“There was also a two-hour team competition with team building and presentations in front of everyone else – my team won that one as well.” 

Tim is looking to the future and has applied to universities including Oxford, Imperial College London, Manchester and Bristol. 

The International Brain Bee was founded in 1999 and is the world-wide neuroscience competition for high school students. Directed by founder Dr. Norbert Myslinski, the Brain Bee motivates students to learn about the brain, captures their imagination, and inspires them to pursue neuroscience careers to help treat and find cures for neurological and psychological disorders.  

Currently, more than 60 nations are engaged in coordinating Brain Bee programmes around the world, and this number is rapidly increasing. About 50,000 students participate across all six continents every year, and more than 600 neuroscientists have been involved with organising and judging the events. An Alumni Club has been established to sustain the global community of young scientists into their university and career tracts.