MilliporeSigma Awards Three Graduate Students for Life Science Research

large silver trophy in front of silvery lights

MilliporeSigma, the life sciences subsidiary of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, continues to show its support for student scientists. Earlier this month the company awarded three budding scientists $10,000 each for their innovation in life science research projects.

In all, one dozen students flew to the company’s corporate headquarters in Germany to present their research data in three separate categories -- bioseparations, food & beverage safety and tumor biology. Four students vied for the $10,000 grand prize in each category. The young scientists presented their research projects to an audience of MilliporeSigma scientists, and guests as part of the company’s 2018 Life Science Awards, which recognize the “innovation that the academic community brings to the future of life science.” Three scientists were ultimately declared the winners of each category.

Click here to get the latest life sciences jobs, tailored for you. Subscribe now to job alerts

In the bioseparations category, Yu Cai, a graduate student at the University of Colorado, won for his project, “Real-time observations of nanoparticles in filtration membranes.”

In the food and beverage safety category, Yanqi Qu, a graduate student at the University of Massachusetts - Amherst won the grand prize for the project, “Safety and quality analysis of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages using surface-enhanced Raman scattering.”

And in the tumor biology category, Jun Ho Lee, of the Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology in South Korea, won for the project, “TonEBP promotes hepatocellular carcinoma development, therapeutic resistance and recurrence via inflammation and liver cancer stem cells.”

MilliporeSigma Chief Executive Officer Udit Batra said the Life Science Award winners have generated “new insights into areas of deep interest” to the applied sciences field.

“Each winner is not only a good scientist, they are curiously solving the toughest problems in life science,” Batra said in a brief statement.

The other finalists in the competition each earned $2,000. The finalists who received these awards are:

In the bioseparations category:

  • Daniel Burgstaller of the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences in Vienna, presented the research project “Flocculation assisted primary separation and product capture by precipitation – How do we get it continuous?”
  • Ashton Lavoie from North Carolina State University presented the project “Mixed-mode peptide ligands for improved clearance of CHO host cell proteins.”
  • Ujwal Patil of the University of Houston presented “Real-time monitoring of antibody in column breakthrough.”

In the category of Food and Beverage Safety:

  • Imanuel Yüce from Justus Liebig University of Giessen in Germany presented the project “Development of in situ and in silico tools as well as improvement of classical techniques for structure elucidation in planar chromatography.”
  • Anna Sophia Harrand from Cornell University presented “Effects of strain diversity and growth conditions on subsequent bacterial growth.”
  • Shaoakang Zhang from the University of Georgia presented “Whole genome sequencing, a one-stop platform for foodborne pathogen subtyping, characterization and detection.”

In Tumor Biology:

  • Jan Lumibao from the University of Illinois Urbana/Champaign, presented “Functional capacity of CHCHD2 in glioblastoma cells expressing EGFRvIII.”
  • Christina Merten of Goethe-University Frankfurt presented “Role of lipocalin-2 from tumor-associated macrophages as alternative iron transporter during tumor growth.”
  • Silvia Duarte Sanmiguel, from the Ohio State University, presented “Nanotechnology-based approaches towards elucidating and modulating the immunology of the tumor niche.”

The prizes doled out as part of the 2018 Life Science Awards came about a month after Millipore Sigma recognized four graduate students for their research and innovations in synthetic organic chemistry as part of the Alfred R. Bader Student Chemistry Symposium. The four students competed for a $3,000 prize. Tim Gatzenmeier from the Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung in Mulheim, Germany, won the $3,000 grand prize based on his research in asymmetric enantioselective organocatalysis. The Alfred R. Bader Award for Student Innovation competition was open to advanced graduate students in synthetic organic chemistry from around the world and recognizes chemists whose work is expected to accelerate progress in chemistry.

Back to news