Three Students from Matawan Regional High School Take Top Spots in Central New Jersey Brain Bee Competition at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School

Jennifer Forbes
Communications & Public Affairs

February 22, 2016

PISCATAWAY, NJ – – Catherine Brown, a tenth-grade student at Matawan Regional High School in Aberdeen, won the 2016 Central New Jersey Regional Brain Bee, defeating 53 other high school students who participated in the event held at the Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. Catherine earned an expense-paid trip for two to compete in the National Brain Bee Competition at the University of Maryland in Baltimore, March 18-20, 2016.

Modeled after a traditional spelling bee, the Brain Bee is a live question and answer competition, during which students are quizzed about the human brain and central nervous system. During three rounds of competition, the contestants answer questions derived from the book Brain Facts, published by the Society for Neuroscience.

Eric Kim and Abdullah Ramadan, also tenth-grade students from Matawan Regional High School placed second and third, respectively. Under the guidance of science teacher, Paul Servidio, MD, the high school has sent a team of students to compete in the event each year since it was first held at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in 2011. This year’s team included eight students, six of which made it to the final 10 contestants in the competition. Matawan Regional High School twelfth-grade student, Adam Elliot, who won the 2014 National Brain Bee and place fourth at that year’s international competition, also was in attendance in support of his classmates.

Held for the sixth year in a row at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, the event was hosted by the department of neuroscience and cell biology, and coordinated by Michael Matise, PhD, associate professor, with the support of Cheryl Dreyfus, PhD, professor and chair of the department. Faculty members, graduate and undergraduate students who conduct research at the medical school served as the competition’s judges.

About Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School

As one of the nation's leading comprehensive medical schools, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School is dedicated to the pursuit of excellence in education, research, health care delivery, and the promotion of community health. Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, the medical school's principal affiliate, comprise one of the nation's premier academic medical centers. In addition, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School has 34 other hospital affiliates and ambulatory care sites throughout the region.

Part of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School encompasses 21 basic science and clinical departments, hosts centers and institutes including The Cardiovascular Institute, the Child Health Institute of New Jersey and the Women’s Health Institute. The medical school maintains educational programs at the undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate levels on its campuses in New Brunswick and Piscataway and provides continuing education courses for health care professionals and community education programs. To learn more about Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, visit Find us online at and