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Merck Biopharma Innovation Cup honours young scientists

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Winning team receives €20,000 for an innovative project proposal on schistosomiasis vector control

Merck, a science and technology company, has announced the winners of its sixth Biopharma Innovation Cup. The winning team received €20,000 for its “controlling schistosomiasis transmission” approach in the Global Health area.

The Biopharma Innovation Cup is Merck’s initiative to develop the next generation of biopharma talents with novel ideas for new innovation in medical science. Reportedly, this year’s Biopharma Innovation Cup received 900 applications from 53 countries. Thirty one participants were chosen to work for four days to develop a project plan around their original idea.

Participants were coached by Merck researchers and managers in the biopharma field. The winning team Global Health presented their innovative approach to “Controlling schistosomiasis transmission.”

The team consisted of:

  • Jennifer Beveridge, Georgia Institute of Technology (US)
  • Theresa Maier, University of Cambridge (UK)
  • Erica Namigai, University of Oxford (UK)
  • Chetan Rathi, University of Tennessee (US)
  • Josh Tycko, Editas Medicine (US)
  • Gabriele Disselhoff, Team Coach
  • As runner-up receiving €5,000, the Oncology team “Cutting cancer’s nutrient supply” was chosen. It consisted of:
  • Simon Breitler, Harvard University (US)
  • Sabine Gogolok, MRC Centre for Regenerative Medicine (UK)
  • Peter Kim, Yale University (US)
  • Claudio Lademann, Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (Germany)
  • Mireia Mato Prado, Imperial College London (UK)
  • Arne Sutter,Team Coach

The Biopharma Innovation Cup won the German Industry Innovation Award in 2015 for innovative HR concepts and the German Idea Award for best international idea in 2014

We are impressed to see interest in the Biopharma Innovation Cup grow from year to year and look forward to continue giving young talent from all over the world a chance to learn about R&D in the pharma industry and to work directly with our scientists and managers at the summer camp,” said Dr Ulrich Betz, Executive Director of Innovation & Entrepreneurship Incubator at the biopharma business of Merck and initiator and manager of the Biopharma Innovation Cup.

This initiative is designed to support the professional development of post-graduate students interested in a career in the pharma industry and to foster innovation from a promising new generation of academic talent.

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