[Darmstadt, Germany] Merck, a global science and technology company, has recognized a group of outstanding postgraduate students for their research and innovations in life science at an awards ceremony at the company’s new Life Science Center in Burlington, Boston, USA.
Twelve student finalists from across the globe (four in each of the three awards categories: bioseparations, 3D printing and food and beverage safety) presented their research to an audience of Merck leaders and guests on October 23. Steffen Zobel-Roos, Alexandra Rutz and Ruben R.G. Soares were each named winners of the $10,000 grand prize in their respective categories.
“We are privileged to play a small role in advancing science and technology through these awards,” said Udit Batra, Member of the Merck Executive Board and CEO, Life Science. “I congratulate all of the winners on their projects. Their talents and imagination are already making an important contribution to the next generation of problem solvers.”
In its third year, this international awards competition recognizes postgraduate students from universities in the U.S., Canada and Europe who demonstrate outstanding achievement, skill and commitment to excellence in the life science field through innovative, cutting-edge research. Previously open only to students researching bioseparations, the competition was expanded in 2017 to include awards categories for 3D printing and food and beverage safety. Winning projects in each category were chosen based on level of innovation, impact on the industry, scientific rigor and communication.
Following are the grand prize winners and their research topics:
l Steffen Zobel-Roos, Clausthal University of Technology, Germany, Modern Chromatography: A Novel Integrated Counter Current Chromatography Step Fully Automated with Inline Concentration Measurements, $10,000 Grand Prize Winner, LS Award Bioseparations
l Alexandra Rutz, University of Cambridge, UK, Engineering Hydrogel Inks for 3D Tissue and Organ Printing, $10,000 Grand Prize Winner, LS Award 3D Printing
l Ruben R.G. Soares, University of Lisbon, Portugal, Towards the Development of Single-Step and Sub-Minute Need Device for the Routine Monitoring of Mycotoxins in Food Feeds, $10,000 Grand Prize Winner, LS Award Food and Beverage Safety
Other finalists and winners $1,500 prizes were:
* Hasin Feroz, The Pennsylvania State University, USA, Purification and Post-Purification Strategies to Improve Yield of Functional Membrane Proteins
* Petra Steppert, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Austria, Separation of Bionanoparticles by Convective Media
* Shaojie Zhang, University of Virginia, USA, Understanding Process Performance Parameters in a Two-Step Monoclonal Antibody Chromotographic Purification Process
* Molly Kupfer, University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, USA, Myocardial Tissue Engineering with Cells Derived from Human-Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells and a Native-Like, High-Resolution, 3-Dimensionally Printed Scaffold
* Malachy Maher, University Medical Center Utrecht, The Netherlands, Cardiac Patches to Mend Broken Hearts
* Michelle Xuanyi Ma, University of California San Diego, USA, A 3D Printed Human iPSC Derived Hepatic Model that Helps Improve In Vitro Liver Functional Maturation
Food and Beverage Safety:
* Ewa Brychcy-Rajska, University of Environmental and Life Sciences, Poland, Possibilities of Application Acidic Electrolyzed Water and Bioactive Edible Protective Films as Quality Assurance Methods During Refrigerated Storage
* Emily E. Jackson, University of Nevada, Reno, USA, Cronobacter Typing Methods
* Courtney Tanabe, University of California, Davis, USA, Arsenic Analysis and Speciation of Wine: New Approaches of Food Safety