The Babraham Institute believes in celebrating and sharing top-quality science and wider-research impacts from across our community of scientists. Each year the Institute presents awards to celebrate the achievements of our scientists in research, public engagement and knowledge exchange & commercialisation (KEC). These awards are presented as part of the Institute’s annual internal research meeting – called Lab Talks. Over two days, selected researchers from across the Institute present and share their latest findings.
The Berridge Prize for research is named in honour of the renowned physiologist and biochemist Sir Michael Berridge who’s work at the Babraham Institute made lasting contributions to our understanding of how cells communicate. It recognises the contributions of a PhD or post-doctoral researcher to a published scientific work of outstanding quality. This year the awards took place on Friday 12th May.
The 2017 Michael Berridge Prize was awarded to Amanda Collier, a PhD student in the laboratory of Peter Rugg-Gunn, for her excellent work summarised in a paper entitled ‘Comprehensive Cell Surface Protein Profiling Identifies Specific Markers of Human Naive and Primed Pluripotent States’ published in the respected journal Cell Stem Cell in March 2017. The research examined certain molecules on the outside of stem cells – cells that are able to develop into different types of cells. These molecules can be used to track the transformation of stem cells into other cell types and offer new ways to understand this process of change.
Amanda said: “I’m thrilled to be awarded this prize and privileged to work as part of a fantastic team on such an exciting topic. I would like to thank Peter Rugg-Gunn and my collaborators for all of their contributions to getting our paper accepted into a top journal.”
The KEC Prize is awarded in recognition of an individual or team that have contributed to the Institute’s efforts in scientific exchange and generating impact through partnering with industry, policy makers and clinicians. This year the prize was awarded to Becky Gilley who has been a Senior Research Associate in Dr Simon Cook’s Cell Signalling team since 2002. Her prize is the result of a research project supported through the Babraham Campus Collaboration Fund that allowed her to work closely with PhoreMost, an organisation on the Babraham Research Campus. The project investigated the potential of a new approach to drug discovery and was successful enough to secure long-term funding from Innovate UK/TSB.
Dr Cook, Head of KEC at the Institute, said: “The number and variety of organisations we have access to on the Babraham Research Campus is a unique resource for researchers at the Babraham Institute. Becky’s work with PhoreMost represents what we can achieve by working together. Her involvement in this early study helped to secure critical further funding and I hope her success can be repeated through partnerships with other companies in the future.”
The Public Engagement and Science Communication Prize (PESC) recognises teams of individuals who demonstrate their enthusiasm and commitment to share and discuss their research with public groups. Claire Senner from Myriam Hemberger’s lab beat competition from five other fantastic nominations to claim the PE prize. Claire worked with teacher Carla Jones from Hitchin Girls School to secure a Royal Society Partnership Grant. This allowed her to work with students from the school on a research project involving DNA sequencing and bioinformatics to examine gene regulation.
This partnership included a chance for students to hear from women at different stages of a scientific career and allowed them to attend the Royal Society Partnership Conference where they got to meet Fellows of the Royal Society. The judges recognised Claire’s commitment to the project and her initiative in undertaking something completely new to the Institute.
Babraham Institute Public Engagement Manager, Dr Tacita Nye, said: “Claire’s project has been a fantastic example of what we can achieve by working together with the local community and engaging people directly in research at the Institute. She has helped students to develop cutting-edge research skills and has introduced them to a range of inspirational role models. Projects like this are a key part of including more people in our research.”
The Institute also awards prizes as part of their internal Lab Talks seminar for researchers who present high-quality work in engaging ways either through talks or posters and an Image Prize is presented for a particularly artistic and eye-catching research image.
Congratulations to all our winners! For more information on our PE and KEC activities see the Institute’s Impact pages.
17 May 2017