TARRYTOWN, N.Y., June 22, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Regeneron
Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: REGN) today announced the
winners of the eighth annual Regeneron Prize for Creative
Innovation, which celebrates and rewards cutting-edge thinking from
the next generation of young scientists. In
total, $160,000 in prize money and donations was awarded
to winners, finalists and institutions to advance innovative
scientific research, with two top prizes of $50,000 each awarded to two scientists from NYU
Grossman School of Medicine and a $10,000 honorable mention awarded to a student
from the Broad Institute of MIT
and Harvard. Eight other finalists also
received awards of $5,000 each.
"At Regeneron, we have always believed that science and
technology are key to combating many of the truly existential
threats facing humanity – whether it be disease or climate change –
and the current pandemic only highlights the need to inspire and
support the next generation of young scientists to take on these
challenges," said George D.
Yancopoulos, M.D., Ph.D., Co-Founder, President and Chief
Scientific Officer of Regeneron. "Congratulations to these young
leaders who push the boundaries of thought in science and
technology – they are our future and we look forward to seeing
how they help improve the world."
As part of the Regeneron Prize for Creative Innovation, the
country's leading research universities were asked to nominate top
candidates in the graduate student and postdoctoral fellow
categories. Submissions were reviewed by a selection committee of
senior Regeneron scientists. In May 2020, finalists presented
their 'dream' research proposals in biomedical research, which
offered insight into each nominee's creativity and ability to think
independently as scientists.
The two Regeneron Prize winners each received
a $50,000 cash prize, and the institutions nominating
them received a $5,000 donation. This year's winners
- Antonio Fernandez-Ruiz,
Ph.D., NYU Grossman School of Medicine, New
York University, Regeneron Prize for Creative Innovation by
a Postdoctoral Fellow: Dr. Fernandez-Ruiz studies the role of
hippocampal oscillations in learning and memory processing in the
laboratory of György Buzsáki, M.D., Ph.D. He recently demonstrated
that long-duration sharp-wave ripples, a type of hippocampal
oscillatory patterns, were associated with memory, and that
prolonging these ripples using optogenetic methods improved
performance in rats during a spatial memory test. Dr.
Fernandez-Ruiz believes that understanding the cellular and
functional basis of these phenomena may ultimately lead to
interventions for memory disorders.
- Bo Xia, NYU Grossman School
of Medicine, Regeneron Prize for Creative Innovation by a Graduate
Student: Mr. Xia studies gene evolution in the laboratories of
Itai Yanai, Ph.D., and Jef Boeke, Ph.D. Using single-cell sequencing,
he recently reported that widespread gene expression in the testis
helps to maintain high DNA sequence integrity in the male germ
cells, a phenomenon the paper terms "transcriptional scanning."
These same expressed genes also maintain low evolution rates. Mr.
Xia hopes to develop novel single-cell and spatial-resolved
genomics technologies to expand our understanding of the etiology
of human diseases associated with gene mutations.
In addition, this year Regeneron's selection committee
identified a scientist to receive a $10,000 cash prize as
an honorable mention. This year's honorable mention is:
- Julia Joung, Broad Institute
of MIT and Harvard, Honorable Mention, Regeneron Prize for
Creative Innovation by a Graduate Student: Ms. Joung develops
high-throughput genetic screening methods in the laboratory of
Feng Zhang, Ph.D. She and Dr. Zhang
have published a protocol for conducting genome-scale CRISPR-Cas9
editing and applied this method to identify and characterize long
noncoding RNAs involved in melanoma drug resistance. Ms. Joung
hopes that the ability to conduct large-scale genetic screens could
lead to the discovery and characterization of additional noncoding
RNAs involved in cancer and other diseases.
"Each year, the Regeneron Prize allows us the opportunity to be
inspired by the dreams of young scientists, and this year is no
exception," said Susan Croll, Ph.D.,
Senior Director Emeritus of Neuroscience and Director Emeritus of
the Regeneron Postdoctoral Training Program at Regeneron. "These
young scientists are posing complex scientific questions and
bringing creativity to their answers. We look forward to seeing
what they accomplish."
Regeneron (NASDAQ: REGN) is a leading
biotechnology company that invents life-transforming medicines for
people with serious diseases. Founded and led for over 30 years by
physician-scientists, our unique ability to repeatedly and
consistently translate science into medicine has led to seven
FDA-approved treatments and numerous product candidates in
development, all of which were homegrown in our laboratories. Our
medicines and pipeline are designed to help patients with eye
diseases, allergic and inflammatory diseases, cancer,
cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, pain, infectious diseases
and rare diseases.
Regeneron believes that operating as a good corporate citizen is
crucial to delivering on our mission. We approach corporate
responsibility with three goals in mind: to improve the lives of
people with serious diseases, to foster a culture of
integrity and excellence and to build
sustainable communities. Regeneron is proud to be included on the
Dow Jones Sustainability World Index and the Civic 50 list of the
most "community-minded" companies in the
United States. Throughout the year, Regeneron empowers and
supports employees to give back through our volunteering, pro bono
and matching gift programs. Our most significant philanthropic
commitments are in the area of science education, including
the Regeneron Science Talent Search and the Regeneron
International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF).
For additional information about the company, please visit
www.regeneron.com or follow @Regeneron on Twitter.
Tel.: +1 (914)
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SOURCE Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc.