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.
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. The two recipients include: Kara McKinley, Ph.D., University of California, San Francisco, who studied cell patterns and specialization to understand cell and tissue organization; while Samantha Larsen, Ph.D., Rockefeller University, 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. Seven additional finalists received $5,000 individual prizes.
Commenting on the announced prize, George D. Yancopoulos, M.D., Ph.D., President and Chief Scientific Officer of Regeneron stated, “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. 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.”