Impact Prizes

Each year, scientists from across the Institute come together for the annual Lab Talks symposium. As part of the event, the Institute presents several prizes in recognition of key successes over the past year.

The Sir Michael Berridge Prize celebrates the contributions of a PhD student or Postdoc to an outstanding piece of published research, whilst the Knowledge Exchange & Commercialisation and Public Engagement Prizes are presented to scientists that have gone above and beyond to maximise the impact of their work. The prize winners are selected by judging panels including both internal and external representatives. Finally, the Image Prize for the best research image of the year is selected by a popular vote including all Institute members.


 

Sir Michael Berridge Prize

2020 Joint Winners

Two Reik lab members, Melanie Eckersley-Maslin, a BBSRC Discovery Fellow, and Stephen Clark, a senior researcher, were jointly awarded the 2020 Sir Michael Berridge Prize. This year’s Prize is especially poignant due to the loss of Sir Michael in February this year.

Melanie

Melanie’s award recognised her two publications on the roles of Dppa2 and 4 in the epigenetic regulation of transcription during early development and in maintenance of pluripotency. Melanie’s research investigates the process of epigenetic priming where genes that are not yet active but needed in later development are ‘protected’ from permanent silencing during the genome-wide changes that occur during early development.

Melanie’s work identified developmental pluripotency associated 2 (Dppa2) and 4 (Dppa4) as epigenetic priming factors in early embryos. As a whole, Melanie’s research has uncovered how epigenetic priming factors are important gatekeepers of early embryonic cell fate transitions and raises future questions on how these mechanisms may go awry in disease.
 


Stephen

Stephen’s award recognised his leading contributions to collaborative landmark papers establishing methods enabling multi-omic profiling of single cells and their application to understanding gastrulation, the process of mammalian germ layer specification. Formation of the three primary germ layers during gastrulation is an essential step in the establishment of the vertebrate body plan and is associated with major transcriptional changes. Global epigenetic reprogramming accompanies these changes but the role of the epigenome in regulating early cell-fate choice remains unresolved, and the coordination between different molecular layers is unclear.

In collaboration with researchers at several Cambridge research institutes, Stephen contributed to the development of a single-cell multi-omics map of chromatin accessibility, DNA methylation and RNA expression during the onset of gastrulation in mouse embryos. The resolution of this approach generates new understanding about the epigenetic priming events that determine the cellular types that emerge later in development.

Previous Years

Visit the Sir Michael Berridge Prize page to read about previous winners and nominees.


 

Knowledge Exchange and Commercialisation (KEC) 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.

2020 Winner

Stefan

The 2020 Knowledge Exchange and Commercialisation Prize was awarded to Dr Stefan Schoenfelder, a senior scientist at the Institute's Epigenetic Programme and one of one of three scientific founders of the Institute’s most recent spin-out company, Enhanc3D Genomics. Enhanc3D Genomics’ mission is to apply functional genomics to link non-coding DNA sequence variants to their target genes in order to identify novel therapeutic targets.

The KEC award recognises Dr Schoenfelder's key role in developing the founding research central to the company's activity, establishing the spin-out team, and successfully raising seed funding from the Start Codon Cambridge Healthcare Accelerator. In judging, the KEC Committee members highlighted that the formation of Enhanc3D Genomics has shown how well Institute-supported translational activities can lead to the establishment of an innovative spin-out, with Dr Schoenfelder demonstrating “impressive drive to turn the techniques and protocols he developed at the bench into such a successful commercial proposal".

 

Previous Years

Visit the Knowledge Exchange and Commercialisation Prize page to read about previous winners and nominees.


 

Public Engagement (PE) Prize

The Babraham Institute's Public Engagement Prize recognises an individual or team who have contributed to the Institute's public engagement and science communication activities, demonstrating their passion for science and enthusiasm and commitment to inspiring generations.

2020 Winners

The 2020 Public Engagement Prize was shared between Diljeet Gill and Carine Stapel for their work in different areas of the Public Engagement Programme.

Profile picture of Diljeet Gill

 

Diljeet won his award for his continued commitment to engaging audiences with the Race Against the Ageing Clock research. Earlier in the year he took the lead in developing a 'What are they up to now?' video, working with a local animator, to showcase at the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition.

He then went on to engage more public audiences, many from underserved areas, by being the first presenter in the Science Spotlight talk programme. All throughout showing real versatility in adapting to digital formats to overcome the challenges COVID-19 led to for public engagement.

Profile picture of Carine Stapel

 

Carine won her award for developing and participating in ORION public dialogue events around genome editing. Throughout she championed the bringing together of public, scientific and professional stakeholder voices to enact action.

By providing knowledge and expertise she guided conversations that led to impactful steps forward in the ORION project in relation to research integrity and ethics.

 

Previous Years

Visit the Public Engagement Prize page to read about previous winners and nominees.


 

Image Prize

Each year members of the Institute can put forward images for the Imaging Prize, usually created using the Institute's Imaging Facility. The winner is selected by everyone in the Institute through a public vote.

2020 Winner

Image

Katie Young’s image of a mouse intestinal organoid was the Image Prize winner in 2020. The image shows a mouse intestinal organoid stained for actin (red), nuclei (blue), smooth muscle actin (green) and beta catenin (white). The Sharpe lab uses organoids to study the role of phosphatases in the gut. The organoid on the right shows several crypts which have developed from the mouse intestinal stem cells.

Previous Years

Visit the Image award page to read about previous winners and nominees.