Regeneron names 2016 winners of the Regeneron Prize for Creative Innovation

The award was established to acknowledge, reward and foster talented early-career biomedical scientists

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, a biopharmaceutical firm specialising in medicines for the treatment of serious medical conditions, has named the winners of the fourth annual Regeneron Prize for Creative Innovation.

The award was established to acknowledge, reward and foster talented early-career biomedical scientists. This year, the Tarrytown, New York, US-based firm awarded $155,000 in prize money to ten students and two institutions.

Two winners of the Regeneron Prize will each receive a $50,000 cash prize. The institutions nominating the two winners will also receive a donation to support their seminar series. This year's winners are: John Maciejowski from The Rockefeller University, who took the Regeneron Prize for Creative Innovation by a Postdoctoral Fellow.

Dr Maciejowski recently published research in the journal Cell showing a novel mechanism of malignant cellular transformation. He found that dicentric chromosomes (abnormal chromosomes with two centromeres) formed during mitosis create chromatin bridges between daughter cells that cause nuclear envelope rupture, DNA degradation and hypermutation. His winning proposal focuses on how these events may contribute to cancer-related mutations.

Chi Zhang, from the Department of Chemistry, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was awarded the Regeneron Prize for Creative Innovation by a Graduate Student.

Zhang develops innovative chemical biology tools for tailoring of peptides and proteins, which may one day be applied to the creation of targeted therapies.

It is a key priority at Regeneron to support and develop young innovators who have the potential to generate tomorrow's breakthroughs in science and technology

An additional Graduate Student will be awarded an Honourable Mention and a cash prize of $10,000.

He is Gustav Cederquist, a student of the Weill Cornell/Rockefeller/Sloan Kettering Tri-Institutional MD–PhD programme. Cederquist is using stem cells as a tool to understand mechanisms of neuronal development and how these processes may go awry in brain disease. He is also developing novel methods for multiplex screening of specific cell populations in the nervous system.

'These talented postdoctoral and graduate student winners have shown significant dedication and promise early in their scientific careers, and we are confident they have what it takes to be future leaders in biomedicine,' said George D. Yancopoulos, President of Regeneron Laboratories and Chief Scientific Officer of Regeneron.

'It is a key priority at Regeneron to support and develop young innovators who have the potential to generate tomorrow's breakthroughs in science and technology. We continue to expand our deep commitment to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) at all levels, including through the prestigious Regeneron Science Talent Search for high school students.'

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