Cambridge Independent / Keith Heppell

Wellcome Genome Campus staff commended at Cambridge Independent Science and Technology Awards

The winners were drawn from all aspects of the Campus' world-leading work with genomes: from academic research to commercial application, and from scientific exploration to promoting public dialogue

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Last night (11th May 2022), staff from the Wellcome Genome Campus, including those working at the Wellcome Sanger Institute, Wellcome Connecting Science and EMBL’s European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) were recognised at the 2021-22 Cambridge Independent Science and Technology Awards. Professor Sir Mike Stratton, Director of the Sanger Institute, was presented with the inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award.

The finalists were chosen following a series of judging sessions from an expert panel, who pored over a record number of entries to the awards, which are now in their fifth year.

In the STEM Initiative of the Year category, My STEMM Future from Wellcome Connecting Science and Wellcome Sanger Institute was highly commended. In the Enterprise Skills Award category, the Wellcome Genome Campus was highly commended for its Start-up school.

Dr Robert Finn, Section Head and Team Leader at EMBL-EBI won the Researcher of the Year category.

Dr Ewan Harrison, Career Development Fellow at the Wellcome Sanger Institute was a finalist in the Researcher of the Year category, and the PDB Art project, led by Deepti Gupta, of EMBL-EBI was a finalist in the STEM Initiative of the Year category.

Other finalists associated with the Campus included Congenica, in The Tech for Good Award and Technology Company of the Year. Microbiotica was a finalist in the Biotech Company of the Year and Life Science Company of the Year categories. Both companies were founded as spin-outs from the Sanger Institute.

The ceremony began with the unveiling of the winner of the inaugural, In Search of Wonder Lifetime Achievement Award: Professor Sir Mike Stratton, a cancer genomics pioneer whose discoveries have aided the diagnosis and treatment of cancer, while setting the foundation for more personalised cancer treatments.

“I am honoured to be presented with this Lifetime Achievement award.

“Reflecting on my career, it has been a real privilege to have been able to hitch a lift on the tidal wave of genomes that gathered momentum in the 1990’s. That immense potential inspired me, and has since transformed biological science in unimaginable ways. My own work has shown the real power of cancer genetics – it can change patients’ lives. Millions of people around the world now have had genetic tests for breast cancer, and new drugs are being developed against genetic targets. Genomics will certainly continue to transform biology, as we move now into new endeavours, including sequencing the genomes of all life on Earth.

“One of the greatest pleasures of my career has been working with others, and I must acknowledge the ideas and elbow grease of many people I have worked with. I would like to extend my congratulations to all of the nominees and finalists that are part of the Wellcome Genome Campus family, and beyond.”

Professor Sir Mike Stratton, Director of the Sanger Institute

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