News Feature | January 15, 2014

Bayer Awards EUR 30,000 To Early Excellence In Science Award Winners

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Global healthcare company Bayer announced the winners of its 5th Bayer Early Excellence in Science Award in a press release last week. Three outstanding scientists in the early stages of their careers were chosen from a pool of international research scientists for the annual awards.

The Bayer Early Excellence in Science Award was first given in 2009 in three categories: chemistry, biology, and materials science. Candidates are chosen based on the uniqueness and quality of research as well as its significance in its respective field.

Wyss Institute of Harvard runs down the list of Bayer Science and Education Foundation awardees:  Dr. Abigail Doyle, Associate Professor at Princeton University (USA) for the "Chemistry" field; Dr. Steven Spoel, Principal Investigator at the University of Edinburgh (UK) for the "Biology" award; and Dr. Javier Fernandez, Associate Researcher at Wyss Institute of Harvard University (USA) for the "Materials" category. The Bayer Science and Education Foundation awarded a total of EUR 30,000 or EUR 10,000 for each winning scientist.

Dr. Abigail Doyle and her research group have initiated mild yet efficient methods to incorporate fluorine into organic molecules and cross-couple it with unusual reaction partners through transition metal catalysis. Her work opens up possible new paths to significant molecules used in life sciences research.

Dr. Steven Spoel’s work focuses on understanding how living cells interpret environmental signals into changes in gene expression. Discovering how certain molecular mechanisms work in coordinated gene expression might be key in crop performance stabilization strategies during changes in environmental conditions as well as uncovering cancer treatment solutions.

Dr. Javier Fernandez has engineered a novel material called “Shrilk”. Shrilk demonstrates the extraordinary strength, versatility, and durability of natural insect cuticle. Dr. Fernandez’s material has the strength and ruggedness of aluminum alloy with only half of its weight, making it a prime material for accelerated biodegradable packaging as well biocompatible scaffold for tissue regeneration.

Bayer Science and Education Foundation Board of Directors member Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Plischke said he was delighted in the opportunities the Bayer prizes give towards supporting and motivating the talented cream of the crop in science. “Bayer’s innovation strategy has long focused on intensive exchange with colleges and universities. The targeted funding of young scientists is just one element of our program – cooperation and strategic partnerships are essential for successful industrial research,” Plischke said in Bionity.