TARRYTOWN, N.Y., July 18, 2019 /PRNewswire/
-- Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:
REGN) announced the winners of the seventh annual Regeneron
Prize for Creative Innovation. The country's leading research
universities were asked to nominate top candidates for the
Regeneron Prize in the 'graduate student' and 'postdoctoral fellow'
categories. In total $155,000 in
prize money and donations was awarded to finalists, winners and
institutions. Regeneron's selection committee awarded the top
Regeneron Prizes to scientists from the University of California, San Francisco and
The Rockefeller University, who each
received $50,000 in prize money. In
addition, one student from the Harvard
Graduate School of Arts and Sciences was awarded a
$10,000 honorable mention.
"The Regeneron Prize for Creative Innovation recognizes
inventive, curious and talented young scientists who are at the
forefront of the next generation of medical breakthroughs," said
George D. Yancopoulos, M.D., Ph.D.,
President and Chief Scientific Officer of Regeneron. "Mankind
desperately needs innovative new solutions to the very real threats
we face – from climate change to increasing disease burden. Lost in
the current dialogue around healthcare costs is the fact that
long-term health solutions depend on innovative new approaches to
prevent and cure diseases. There is nothing more important than
identifying, encouraging and incentivizing the next generation of
great young scientists to take on these critical challenges. We
celebrate their work, and the inspiration they provide to other
students pursuing science to improve human health."
Submissions were reviewed by a selection committee of senior
Regeneron scientists. In May 2019,
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 two Regeneron Prize winners each received a $50,000 cash prize, and the institutions
nominating them received a $5,000
donation to support their seminar series. This year's winners
- Kara McKinley, Ph.D.,
University of California, San
Francisco, Regeneron Prize for Creative Innovation by a
Postdoctoral Fellow: Dr. McKinley studies cell patterns and
specialization, using intestinal cells to understand cell and
tissue organization.1 She hopes to leverage her
expertise to develop novel in vitro models of complex
tissues to study the development and function of normal and
diseased tissue. Her work provides a framework for identifying
mechanisms of disease in a wide variety of diseases resulting from
disorganization of tissues.
- Samantha Larsen, Ph.D.,
The Rockefeller University, Regeneron
Prize for Creative Innovation by a Graduate Student: In her
recently completed graduate work, Dr. Larsen studied inflammatory
memory, focusing on the skin as a model for how stem cells develop
memory following an inflammatory event and the impact on long-term
tissue integrity.2,3 Her work enhances understanding of
the link between inflammation and tissue changes, including
proliferative changes such as those that occur in cancer and
chronic inflammatory disorders. She hopes that by fully
comprehending the long-term impacts of inflammation on stem cells,
we can learn to manipulate the response to an inflammatory stimulus
to maintain any beneficial features while limiting those leading to
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:
- Sydney Lavoie, Ph.D.,
Harvard Graduate School of Arts and
Sciences, Honorable Mention, Regeneron Prize for Creative
Innovation by a Graduate Student: Dr. Lavoie recently completed
her doctoral work studying relationships between the gut microbiota
and diseases of the gut. She has described the role of gut
microbiota in the development of colorectal cancer and Crohn's
disease.4 She hopes that her work will not only lead to
novel therapeutic pathways in intestinal disease, but also to an
understanding of how the gut microbiota can be harnessed to improve
Seven additional finalists received $5,000 individual prizes.
"The Regeneron Prize has seen some of the best and brightest
young minds showcase their innovative dream projects over the past
seven years," said Susan Croll,
Ph.D., Senior Director Emeritus of Neuroscience and Director of the
Regeneron Postdoctoral Training Program at Regeneron. "These
impressive scientists prove once again how powerful and innovative
young minds are. As early-career biomedical scientists, they have
great potential to advance their respective fields and we are eager
to see not only what they accomplish, but how they inspire others
in the future."
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 samples of publications that enable the selection
committee to review each nominee's scholarly productivity.
About Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
(NASDAQ: REGN) is a leading biotechnology company that invents
life-transforming medicines for people with serious diseases.
Founded and led for 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 is accelerating and improving the traditional drug
development process through our
proprietary VelociSuite® technologies,
such as VelocImmune® which produces
optimized fully-human antibodies, and ambitious research
initiatives such as the Regeneron Genetics Center, which is
conducting one of the largest genetics sequencing efforts in the
For additional information about the company, please visit
www.regeneron.com or follow @Regeneron on Twitter.
Regeneron Media Relations
- McKinley, K.L., Stuurman, N., Royer, L.A., Schartner, C.,
Castillo-Azofeifa, D., Delling, M., Klein, O.D., and Vale, R.D.
(2018). Cellular aspect ratio and cell division mechanics underlie
the patterning of cell progeny in diverse mammalian epithelia.
Elife 7. doi: 10.7554/eLife.36739.
- Naik S, Larsen SB, Cowley CJ, & Fuchs. Two to tango:
dialogue between immunity and stem cells in health and disease.
Cell, 175, P908-920. November
2018. PMID: 30388451.
- Naik S*, Larsen SB*, Gomez NC, Alaverdyan K, Sendoel A, Yuan S,
Polak, L Kulukian A, Chai S & Fuchs E. Inflammatory Memory
Sensitizes Skin Epithelial Stem Cells to Tissue Damage.
Nature, 550, 475-480. October
2017. PMID: 29045388 Highlighted in Nature, Nature
Immunology, Immunity, Cell Stem Cell, Science Signaling Papers of
Note, Science Daily, and Faculty of 1000. *Equal
- Lavoie S, Conway KL, Lassen KG, Jijon HB, Pan H, Chun E,
Michaud M, Lang JK, Gallini Comeau CA, Dreyfuss JM, Glickman JN,
Vlamakis H, Ananthakrishnan A, Kostic A, Garrett WS, Xavier RJ. The
Crohn's disease polymorphism, ATG16L1 T300A, alters the gut
microbiota and enhances the local Th1/Th17 response. eLife.
SOURCE Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc.