Life Sciences Research for Lifelong Health

Image prize 2017

Knowledge Exchange & Commercialisation Prize

The Babraham Institute’s Knowledge Exchange and Commercialisation (KEC) Prize recognises an individual or team who have contributed to the Institute's KEC activities, demonstrating their passion for generating impact and transferring their knowledge.

A prize is also awarded for the best scientific image of the year, usually created by researchers using the Institute's Imaging Facility. This year's winning image, shown above, is by Juri Kazakevych and shows the lining of the large intestine. DNA in the cell nuclei is shown in red. Histone-crotonylation, an epigenetic mark involved in gene activation, is shown in green. Yellow indicates colocalization of both stainings.

Winner 2017

B GilleyThis year's winner this year is Becky Gilley (Signalling ISP) for her involvement/leadership of a Campus Collaboration Fund with Phoremost, which has been instrumental in priming a subsequent successful application to Innovate UK/TSB by PhoreMost and the Babraham Institute.

Comments from the committee and external judges stated that Becky demonstrated a strong understanding of Babraham science and its potential industrial application, was involved in the planning of commercial work and driving it forward and established a strong collaboration with the SME to develop a Proof of Concept project.
 

Other nominations

Lina Dobnikar, Natasha Morgan, Michiel Thiecke and Rachael Huntly, who won the national Biotechnology YES competition by developing a commercial proposal to overcome a parasite that has been identified as a major cause of bee colony collapse disorder.

Laetititia Chauve has been responsible for organising the Cambridge Area Worm Meeting since 2014, which has led to funding for the European Genie network conference. She was also part of the organising committee for the Ageing Cell Conference and played a major part in the smooth running of the talks.

Clara Novo, Danika Hill and Claire Senner who successfully conceived and coordinated a joint postdoc retreat with another EU Life Institute, the Gulbenkian Institute in Portugal (IGC) in October 2017. They have also organised funding that fully covers the costs of registration, accommodation and travel of 30 BI postdocs.
 

Joint Winners in 2016

Rahul Roychoudhuri
Rahul RoychoudhuriSince joining the Babraham Institute as a new tenure track Group Leader in 2015 Rahul has proactively set up a number of commercial collaborations. As well as developing new contacts himself, he has been an enthusiastic participant and speaker at industry networking events arranged by the KEC team, including the Immunology Showcase for Industry, and science events with GSK and Cancer Research Technology (CRT).

This work has resulted in: 2 CASE studentships; working with three Babraham Research Campus Companies, including hosting a member of CRT staff in his lab (funded by a BRC Collaboration Fund award); and a successful collaborative application for a CRUK Small Molecule Drug Discovery Project.



Peter Rugg-Gunn
Peter Rugg-GunnPeter has been a strong supporter of the KEC programme at Babraham since becoming the KEC Committee Rep for the Epigenetics ISP. He has worked to encourage KEC activities within the ISP including submissions for KEC funding.

Peter has taken an active role in providing evidence for policy-makers around the topic of Gene Editing through activities such as a workshop on ‘Stem Cells and Society: Planning for the Future of Gene Editing’, which resulted in a published report. He is also involved in workshops looking at developing scientific leaders in government through the Cambridge Centre for Science and Policy.

 

Other nominations in 2016

Matthew Humphries:
Since Matt started at the Institute in 2014, he has taken the Institute’s seminar programme from strength to strength, resulting in a packed schedule of both national and international speakers. Matt’s initiative and ambition has ensured BI leads the way in EU-LIFE seminars, with other Institutes now following suit. Additionally, Matt has worked hard to develop Institute-campus interactions by developing and supporting company-hosted seminars, improving communication and encouraging networking.

Melanie Eckersley-Maslin and Ferdinand von Meyenn (Reik Lab):
MelanieFerdinandMelanie and Ferdinand recognised the need for a robust assay to assess the quality of induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) quality, both for use as a research tool and clinically. They successfully applied for a Babraham Institute Commercialisation Grant from the Institute’s Translational Advisory Group (TAG). Whilst working on this project they have arranged mentoring sessions with TAG member Dr Cathy Prescott, who has extensive experience in the commercialisation of stem cell technologies, enabling them to develop an understanding of the market around their technology.

 

Nicolas Le Novère:
NicolasNicolas organised a one day EMBO special interest symposium on the topic of ‘Systems Biology of Epigenetics and Cell Fate’, obtaining funding both from the KEC Committee and commercial sponsors. The symposium attracted speakers/delegates from across the EU, resulting in the development of new relationships. Nicolas also started a special interest group ‘SysMod’ which aims to bridge the gap between bioinformatics and systems modelling – bringing together a variety of researchers.
 

Winner in 2015

The winner in 2015 was Nelly Olova, a Post-Doc in the Institute’s  Epigenetics research programme. Having secured KEC funding in 2013 and 2014, Nelly is developing two antibodies with a novel specificity to epigenetic targets, as well as a method with potential for very wide usage and high socioeconomic impact. She has engaged with a number of other organisations to develop the project, and has secured a place on the University of Cambridge Judge Business School’s Accelerate Cambridge programme.
 
Speaking about her award, Nelly said “My translational work has been both exciting and challenging, and would not have been possible without the KEC funding I have been awarded by the BI. I have learned a lot, made a lot of contacts, and I hope to see this project continue its journey to make a real impact to the scientific and biotech community”. 
 
The judges from the BBSRC and KEC committee praised all entrants, with one commenting; “It is extremely pleasing to see so many high-quality applications, which is a reflection of the further development, appreciation and understanding of KEC at Babraham.”
 
Nelly received a further commendation from one judge saying; “This is a good example of an enterprising individual, supported by the PI and Institute, demonstrating how their research and enterprise activities inform and complement each other.”
 
The KEC prize was awarded by Institute Director, Michael Wakelam, alongside the Sir Michael Berridge Science Prize and the Public Engagement prize. The KEC and PE prizes were introduced as part of the Excellence with Impact programme at the Babraham Institute.