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, equality4success, Award for Commitment to Research Integrity, 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.
The Sir Michael Berridge Prize was endowed by Sir Michael who was a group leader at the Institute from 1990 until 2004, after which he was appointed the Institute’s first Emeritus Babraham Fellow, a position he held until his death in February 2020. Dr Maria Rostovskaya was awarded the Sir Michael Berridge Prize for her publication in Cell Stem Cell “Amniogenesis occurs in two independent waves in primates” (DOI: 10.1016/j.stem.2022.03.014)
The paper describes a major advance in understanding how the amnion is formed during human development, and provides much-needed cell models that open up exciting new opportunities in basic and translational research. Read Maria's profile.
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.
James Dooley, Senior Staff Scientist, Immunology research programme
James was awarded the KEC Prize for his spearheading of the efforts to develop Aila Biotech Limited as CEO-elect. A promising spin-out opportunity from the Liston lab, Aila will develop a patented gene delivery technology to drive the production of immune-regulating biologics at the site of disease. Over the last year, the business case for the company has been greatly improved through James’s focus not just on the translational science, sourcing of CROs and work with clinical collaborators, but also in building and communicating the business proposition. As a direct result of the work put in by James and the rest of the Aila Biotech support team, an offer of seed investment into Aila Biotech has been received which will enable the company to be properly established, and seek further funding for the next stages of development.
Visit the Knowledge Exchange and Commercialisation Prize page to read about previous winners and nominees.
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.
The nominations this year were judged by a review panel consisting of the Institute’s Public Engagement Team and three external engagement professionals: Faye Watson (Public Engagement with Research Manager – Edinburgh University), James Piercy (Communications Officer – John Innes Centre), and Naomi Asantewa (Public Engagement Officer – London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine).
Simon received the PE Prize for his commitment to sustained, researcher-led public engagement. He has run the Protein Challenge project, in which students complete a series of practical activities relating to Institute research, with the Cambridge Academy for Science & Technology since 2015. Last year, Simon secured Seed Funding to develop a touring version of one of the project experiments, thereby expanding this opportunity to schools in underserved areas.
For her long term commitment to public engagement and her crucial work during the pandemic adapting to new formats to engage public around vaccination.
Her championing of engagement work within her team sets a fantastic example of how group leaders can enable others to take part in engagement work.
For engaging underserved audiences in a way that is bespoke to the audiences needs whilst forwarding the Institute’s engagement mission through the Brilliant Club.
Activities have been centred around research and researcher led from inception.
Lipidomics Team - Andrea Lopez & Diane Taylor
Nominated for being highly involved in numerous public engagement activities over the year and exemplifying how teams can come together around engagement activities.
Nominated for taking part in the Institute’s Meet a Bioscientist event and his support in hosting the Virus Fighter game, to ensure the game remains publicly available.
You can find out more about past winners on our Public Engagement Prize page.
The equality4success award celebrates a group or individual, who is not a member of the e4s team, who has made a contribution towards equality, diversity and inclusion at the Institute.
Yasmeen Al-Mufti & Jake Cross, PhD students in the Signalling research programme
Yasmeen and Jake successfully co-led the campaign to increase PhD stipends at the Institute to parity with other research institutes in Cambridge. Ensuring we provide compensation that can support all students, not just those who have access to external support, means people from a variety of backgrounds can pursue their PhDs with us.
The Award for Contributions to Research Integrity has been established to recognise, reward and highlight examples of good practice that have made a contribution across research excellence, research culture, ethics and data access.
Anne Segonds-Pichon, Biological Statistician, Bioinformatics
Anne has worked on the development of a research integrity training course for researchers at the Institute. The award recognises Anne’s passion for ensuring scientific research follows best practice and her drive to ensure that the Institute fosters a supportive environment in which scientists are free to pursue scientific questions in an ethical manner.
Irene Zorzan and Teresa Rayon’s image won this years Institute wide vote for the best scientific image or video. Their image shows human embryo-like structures derived from human embryonic stem cells (blastoid) that form balls of cells with an inside cavity that look very much like blackberries. Blue marks all nuclei of the structure, the green label marks the cells that will generate the embryo proper (Nanog), and the pink label is a readout of a ribosomal protein (pS6).
View past winners and entries in the Image Prize gallery.