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  • Image (from left): Sir David Cooksey, Lizzy Brama, Martin Jones, Lucy Collinson, Veronique Birault and Paul Nurse.

Crick Scientists Receive Flagship Prize for EM Developments

Jan 13 2018 Comments 0

The first Sir David Cooksey Prize in Translation awarded by the Francis Crick Institute, has been presented to Lucy Collinson, Martin Jones, Lizzy Brama and Chris Peddie, for their pioneering work in Electron Microscopy at the Crick, which is enabling translation of fundamental research into tangible health and economic benefit. The team were chosen for their new research-enabling tool which combines electron microscopy with fluorescence microscopy and their approach to ensure wide dissemination and adoption of the technology developed at the Crick.

The winners received £10,000 for their ongoing research in addition to a £2,000 cash prize.

"It is an honour to receive this award, particularly considering the great innovations coming from the other nominees," said Lucy Collinson, who leads the Electron Microscopy Science Technology Platform (STP) at the Crick. "We have had great support from the translation team in educating and supporting us through the open innovation pathway and it is fantastic to work in an institute that supports and recognises cutting-edge technology development in the STP setting."

Announcing the award, Sir David Cooksey, former chairman of the Crick, said: "This year's well-deserved winners of the translation prize are an interdisciplinary team, with skills covering biology, microscopy, physics and software engineering. They have learnt to speak each other's languages to develop new solutions that will help to advance biomedical research at the Crick and beyond."

The team has worked with the Crick's in-house translation team to make the designs and knowledge of how to build their new technology available to the wider microscopy community through open access publications and training. They have also worked with innovative microscopy companies to commercialise the systems for sites that do not have the interdisciplinary skills to build their own.

"Their work demonstrates that the Crick is an extraordinary place for innovation, in the science technology platforms as well as the research labs, enabling its scientists to achieve the Crick's aims," added Sir David.

There were six nominations for this year's prize, which can broadly be classified under three categories - early validation of therapeutic targets, potential therapeutics or diagnostics, and technology platforms. Together, the nominations represent the breadth of translation taking place at the Crick.

"Choosing a winner was incredibly difficult because all of the projects were so strong," said Veronique Birault, who heads the Crick Translation team.

The prize committee was made up of Veronique Birault (Crick Head of Translation), Kate Bingham (VC partner at SVLS and Crick board member), Barbara Domayne-Hayman (entrepreneur and consultant at the Crick), Peter Parker (Crick Group Leader) and Roberto Solari (Crick Translation Advisory Group Member and Visiting Professor at the National Heart and Lung Institute and chairman of 3 SMEs). The committee was chaired by David Roblin, who is the Chair of Scientific Translation at the Crick and President of R&D at Summit Therapeutics.

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