Regeneron Announces the 2022 Winners of the Regeneron Prize for Creative Innovation
TARRYTOWN, N.Y., July 26, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: REGN) today announced the winners of the 10th annual Regeneron Prize for Creative Innovation, a competition designed to recognize excellence and creativity in biomedical research conducted by postdoctoral fellows and graduate students. Each year, Regeneron invites the country's leading research universities to nominate early career scientists. Applicants present their "dream projects" within the field of biomedical science to a committee of Regeneron scientists and leaders, describing and designing the research they would pursue if they had access to any resource or technology, to compete for the Regeneron Prize and an award of $50,000.
This year's winners are Ryan Emenecker, Ph.D., of Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, in the postdoctoral fellow category, and Venkata (Sai) Chaluvadi of the University of Pennsylvania in the graduate student category. Meagan Esbin, a graduate student from the University of California at Berkeley, received a $10,000 prize as an honorable mention. Seven other finalists received awards of $5,000 each. In total, $155,000 in prize money and donations was awarded to winners, finalists and institutions to advance innovative scientific research. The finalists were selected by a committee of senior Regeneron leaders and scientists.
"The Regeneron Prize celebrates the ingenuity of young scientists who are early in their careers but already on the cusp of the next big scientific breakthroughs," said George D. Yancopoulos, M.D., Ph.D., President and Chief Scientific Officer of Regeneron. "Creativity is the engine that drives cutting-edge science, and both Ryan's and Sai's creativity shone brightly in their presentations. I was impressed by this year's winners for their determination to push the boundaries of science and demonstrate scientific courage."
Dr. Emenecker is a molecular biologist with a strong interest in the relationship between sequence composition and encoded function of intrinsically disordered proteins, which can impact aging and neurodegenerative disease. He is currently a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Alex Holehouse, Ph.D., at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. A prolific researcher, Dr. Emenecker has been a part of over a dozen publications on topics ranging from biomolecular condensate function, to computational tool development, to organismic development.
Mr. Chaluvadi first developed an interest in immunology during his time in Dr. Susan Schwab's lab at New York University where he helped discover the roles of S1P in immune cell trafficking and function, which resulted in publications in Nature and Nature Immunology. He began exploring the intersections between immunology and other fields such as oncology and neurology at the Perelman School of Medicine. Work during rotations resulted in manuscripts related to tumor immunology and microglial replacement therapy that are in preparation. Currently, he is a member of the Bennett Lab, studying the contributions of diseased immune cells to the progression of Krabbe disease—a fatal neurodegenerative condition with limited available therapies.
Ms. Esbin studies transcriptional regulation, with her thesis work probing the human SAGA complex, an important regulator of gene expression. Ms. Esbin's most recent work in this area studied the structure of the SAGA complex and appeared last year in Nature Structural & Molecular Biology. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Ms. Esbin took additional work helping to develop open-source methods for COVID-19 detection, illustrating her commitment to applying science to biomedical innovation.
"The Regeneron Prize encourages early career scientists to prioritize independent thinking and creative ingenuity as core components of their future work," said David Glass, M.D., Vice President of Research and Chair of the Postdoctoral Program at Regeneron. "When it comes to the impact these young scientists will have on the world, the work they have presented this year is just the beginning. We applaud their innovative thinking and look forward to seeing what they accomplish next."
Requests for applications are distributed to academic institutions each December. Regeneron asks institutions to nominate two graduate students and two postdoctoral fellows. In addition to the dream project proposals, submissions must include a curriculum vitae and samples of publications that enable the selection committee to review each nominee's scholarly productivity. For more information, please email email@example.com.
Regeneron (NASDAQ: REGN) is a leading biotechnology company that invents, develops and commercializes life-transforming medicines for people with serious diseases. Founded and led for nearly 35 years by physician-scientists, our unique ability to repeatedly and consistently translate science into medicine has led to nine FDA-approved treatments and numerous product candidates in development, almost all of which were homegrown in our laboratories. Our medicines and pipeline are designed to help patients with eye diseases, allergic and inflammatory diseases, cancer, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, pain, hematologic conditions, infectious diseases and rare diseases.
Regeneron is accelerating and improving the traditional drug development process through our proprietary VelociSuite® technologies, such as VelocImmune®, which uses unique genetically humanized mice to produce optimized fully human antibodies and bispecific antibodies, and through ambitious research initiatives such as the Regeneron Genetics Center, which is conducting one of the largest genetics sequencing efforts in the world.
Regeneron believes that operating as a good corporate citizen is crucial to delivering on our mission. We approach corporate responsibility with three goals in mind: to improve the lives of people with serious diseases, to foster a culture of integrity and excellence, and to build sustainable communities. Regeneron is proud to be included on the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index and the Civic 50 list of the most "community-minded" companies in the United States. Throughout the year, Regeneron empowers and supports employees to give back through our volunteering, pro bono, and matching gift programs. Our most significant philanthropic commitments are in the area of science education, including the Regeneron Science Talent Search and the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF).
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