Impact Prizes

Each year, scientists from across the Institute come together for the annual Lab Talks symposium. As part of the event, the Institute presents several prizes in recognition of key successes over the past year.

The Sir Michael Berridge Prize celebrates the contributions of a PhD student or Postdoc to an outstanding piece of published research, whilst the Knowledge Exchange & Commercialisation and Public Engagement Prizes are presented to scientists that have gone above and beyond to maximise the impact of their work. The prize winners are selected by judging panels including both internal and external representatives. Finally, the Image Prize for the best research image of the year is selected by a popular vote including all Institute members.
 


Sir Michael Berridge Prize

2020 Joint Winners

Two Reik lab members, Melanie Eckersley-Maslin, a BBSRC Discovery Fellow, and Stephen Clark, a senior researcher, were jointly awarded the 2020 Sir Michael Berridge Prize. This year’s Prize is especially poignant due to the loss of Sir Michael in February this year.

Melanie

Melanie’s award recognised her two publications on the roles of Dppa2 and 4 in the epigenetic regulation of transcription during early development and in maintenance of pluripotency. Melanie’s research investigates the process of epigenetic priming where genes that are not yet active but needed in later development are ‘protected’ from permanent silencing during the genome-wide changes that occur during early development.

Melanie’s work identified developmental pluripotency associated 2 (Dppa2) and 4 (Dppa4) as epigenetic priming factors in early embryos. As a whole, Melanie’s research has uncovered how epigenetic priming factors are important gatekeepers of early embryonic cell fate transitions and raises future questions on how these mechanisms may go awry in disease.
 


Stephen

Stephen’s award recognised his leading contributions to collaborative landmark papers establishing methods enabling multi-omic profiling of single cells and their application to understanding gastrulation, the process of mammalian germ layer specification. Formation of the three primary germ layers during gastrulation is an essential step in the establishment of the vertebrate body plan and is associated with major transcriptional changes. Global epigenetic reprogramming accompanies these changes but the role of the epigenome in regulating early cell-fate choice remains unresolved, and the coordination between different molecular layers is unclear.

In collaboration with researchers at several Cambridge research institutes, Stephen contributed to the development of a single-cell multi-omics map of chromatin accessibility, DNA methylation and RNA expression during the onset of gastrulation in mouse embryos. The resolution of this approach generates new understanding about the epigenetic priming events that determine the cellular types that emerge later in development.

 

 

Previous Years

Visit the Sir Michael Berridge Prize page to read about previous winners and nominees.

Knowledge Exchange and Commercialisation (KEC) Prize

The Babraham Institute’s Knowledge Exchange and Commercialisation (KEC) Prize recognises an individual or team who have contributed to the Institute's KEC activities, demonstrating their passion for generating impact and transferring their knowledge.

2019 Winners

Flow Team 2019 groupThe 2019 Knowledge Exchange and Commercialisation Prize was awarded to the Flow Cytometry Facility team: Rachael Walker (Head), Rebecca Roberts, Attila Bebes, Arthur Davis, Aleksandra Lazowska and Isobel Darlington. The award recognised the impact of the team’s extensive work over the past twelve months to raise the profile of both the facility and the Institute as a whole. They have trained over 50 external scientists, established new collaborations leading to innovative protocols and streamlined data analysis for commercial companies using the facility. In addition, the award recognised the team’s dedication and in-depth knowledge and understanding of not only their own facility but also the underpinning biology of the projects utilising the facility.

 

Previous Years

Visit the Knowledge Exchange and Commercialisation Prize page to read about previous winners and nominees.
 


Public Engagement (PE) Prize

The Babraham Institute's Public Engagement Prize recognises an individual or team who have contributed to the Institute's public engagement and science communication activities, demonstrating their passion for science and enthusiasm and commitment to inspiring generations.

2019 Winners

PE Prize winners 2019The 2019 Public Engagement Prize was awarded jointly to The Cell Escape team: Izzy Hampson, Chiara Pantarelli, Richard Odle, Piotr Jung. In addition to individually being active in the Institute’s public engagement activities throughout 2018 and 2019, the team made an impressive joint contribution through the development of the cell signalling-themed Escape Room. The award recognised the team’s exceptional achievement in the design of the project and its first use at the Cambridge Science Festival this year (image gallery here). In public feedback from The Cell Escape activity, Izzy, Chiara, Richard and Piotr were praised for how engaging they were when discussing the underlying science. This award recognises Izzy’s, Chiara’s, Richard’s and Piotr’s demonstrated capacity for raising the profile of the Institute and engaging the public with our science in innovative and exciting ways. (The Escape Room subsequently featured at the Latitude Festival in July 2019)

 

Previous Years

Visit the Public Engagement Prize page to read about previous winners and nominees.
 


Image Prize

Each year members of the Institute can put forward images for the Imaging Prize, usually created using the Institute's Imaging Facility. The winner is selected by everyone in the Institute through a public vote.

2019 Winner

Image 2019Célia Raimondi’s image of colourful C. elegans. The image shows DNA staining (DAPI) of a mutant strain of Caenorhabditis elegans. C.elegans, a tiny nematode worm, is one of the model systems used at the Institute and is used by the Casanueva group in the Epigenetics research programme to investigate the link between metabolism and ageing. The image has been modified for colour using the ImageJ image processing software.

Previous Years

Visit the Image award page to read about previous winners and nominees.