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Cancer researcher takes top prize


PRNewswire–Today MedImmune announced the winners of its second annual European research abstract competition which highlights the research of the next generation of scientific leaders in cancer research.

Students and postdoctoral fellows from across Europe were invited to submit abstracts describing their research in the field of tumour microenvironments as part of the competition sponsored by MedImmune, AstraZeneca’s global biologics unit,
which has a research facility in Cambridge.

Carmela De Santo, a scientist from The Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine, University of Oxford, was awarded first prize of £2,000 for her research in immune modulation entitled ‘A novel melanoma immunoescape mechanism based on the secretion of serum amyloid A and differentiation of IL-10-secreting neutrophils.’

“It is a great honour to win this competition and to have the  opportunity to present my research and gain feedback from leading experts in oncology,” said Carmela De Santo.

“It is encouraging to see a research-focused company recognizing young scientists and supporting us in this way. I would like to thank MedImmune for this opportunity and acknowledgement.”

Second and third prizes of £1,000 and £500 were awarded to Alexandre Trindade from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Technical University of Lisbon (UTL), Lisbon, Portugal and Gulbenkian Institute of Science, Oeiras, Portugal for his research in angiogenesis, and Thomas Cox from The Institute
of Cancer Research, London for his research in extracellular matrix modulation respectively.

“We are extremely impressed with the calibre of the scientific research being conducted by these researchers,” said Dr Christian Blank, one of the competition’s judges and Group Leader, Immunology, The Netherlands Cancer Institute, The Netherlands.

“Increasing our understanding of tumour microenvironments can help improve our overall understanding of how cancers behave. The research these young scientists are conducting will add to the pool of knowledge the scientific community can draw upon when developing new therapies,” he said.

“One of our primary objectives at MedImmune is to promote and advance health and science education,” said Dr Klaus Bosslet, Vice President Research, Oncology, MedImmune.

“This competition is part of our commitment to investing in the development of the next generation of leading scientists. These young scientists could one day occupy the top echelons of scientific research and we at MedImmune are honored to play a part in their future careers by providing some recognition for their hard work.”

The competition was open to graduate students and postdoctoral fellows in Europe with ten finalists shortlisted to present their research to an expert panel of judges including Professor Adrian Harris, The Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine, University of Oxford, UK; Dr. Christian Blank, Group
Leader, Immunology, The Netherlands Cancer Institute, The Netherlands; Dr. Klaus Bosslet, Vice President Research, Oncology, MedImmune and Dr. Scott Hammond, Scientist II, Senior Scientist, MedImmune.

The focus of the competition – tumour microenvironments – reflects the research interests of MedImmune’s UK-based Oncology Department in Cambridge. The three winners were
announced at the awards ceremony at Cambridge University’s prestigious Downing College following evaluation of their presentations on the basis of scientific merit, innovation and delivery.


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