Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: REGN) today announced the winners of the fifth annual Regeneron Prize for Creative Innovation, an award designed to recognize, reward and foster talented early-career biomedical scientists. The country's leading research institutions were asked to nominate top candidates in the 'graduate student' and 'postdoctoral fellow' categories. Regeneron's selection committee awarded the Regeneron Prize along with $100,000 in prize money to two scientists, both at Columbia University Medical Center.
"This year's winners of the Regeneron Prize for Creative Innovation are remarkable young researchers who are harnessing their scientific curiosity to advance biomedical discovery in neuroscience, a field with many patients who need new breakthroughs," said George D. Yancopoulos, M.D., Ph.D., President and Chief Scientific Officer of Regeneron. "Great scientific minds are this nation's greatest resource, and Regeneron is committed to nurturing the next generation of innovators who will push the boundaries of science and technology. We are humbled by their passion and honored to recognize their talent and promise through the Regeneron Prize, which we are announcing today, as well as through the prestigious Regeneron Science Talent Search which recognizes top High School scientific talent in America, and through our many other initiatives in STEM education."
The two winners will each receive a $50,000 cash prize, and Columbia University Medical Center will receive a donation to support its seminar series. This year's winners are:
- Ewoud Schmidt, Ph.D., Department of Neuroscience, Columbia University Medical Center, Regeneron Prize for Creative Innovation by a Postdoctoral Fellow: Dr. Schmidt is a member of the Polleux laboratory and is studying the role of a human-specific paralog of SRGAP2 in the development of brain circuits. The SRGAP2 gene encodes the SRGAP2 protein, which regulates the development of neural connectivity.
- Ori Lieberman, Program in Neurobiology and Behavior, Columbia University Medical Center, Regeneron Prize for Creative Innovation by a Graduate Student: Mr. Lieberman works in the Sulzer laboratory and studies neural circuit development in the context of psychiatric diseases. He is researching the development of dopamine-sensing brain areas and exploring the role of dopamine in disorders such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and Tourette's syndrome.
Competitors were reviewed by a selection committee of senior scientists at Regeneron. In May, finalists visited Regeneron to tour the campus and present their "dream" research proposals in biomedical research, which offered insight into each nominee's creativity and ability to think independently as scientists.
"The Regeneron Prize, now in its fifth year, attracts dream proposals that are based on ground-breaking ideas and demonstrate the vast potential found in early scientific careers," said Susan Croll, Ph.D., Regeneron scientist and Director of the Regeneron Postdoctoral Training Program. "We congratulate this year's winners and wish them continued success as they advance their important research."
Requests for applications are distributed to academic institutions late each Fall. Institutions are asked to nominate two graduate students and two postdoctoral fellows. In addition to the dream project proposals, submissions must include a curriculum vitae and a sample of publications that enable the selection committee to review each nominee's scholarly productivity.
Regeneron (NASDAQ: REGN) is a leading biotechnology company that invents life-transforming medicines for people with serious diseases. Founded and led for nearly 30 years by physician-scientists, our unique ability to consistently translate science into medicine has led to six FDA-approved treatments and over a dozen product candidates, all of which were homegrown in our laboratories. Our medicines and pipeline are designed to help patients with eye disease, heart disease, allergic and inflammatory diseases, pain, cancer, infectious diseases and rare diseases.