BioMed Central Research Award

Áine McKnight, Barts and The London
A whole genome screen for HIV restriction factors
Retrovirology 2011, 8:94 (14 November 2011)

Áine McKnight is Professor of Viral Pathology at Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London. Áine was educated in Dublin, Ireland. She studied for her PhD with Professors Robin Weiss and Paul Clapham on antibody mediated neutralization and tropism of HIV (at ICR and UCL, London). As an early Research Wellcome Trust Career Fellow, and later as a Medical Research Council (UK) Senior Fellow, she developed her own research interest into the pathology of HIV and factors that restrict infection of the host target cell by HIV.

Open Data Award, sponsored by LabArchives

Peter AG Sandercock, University of Edinburgh
The International Stroke Trial database
Trials 2011, 12:101 (21 April 2011)

Professor Peter Sandercock is an academic clinical neurologist at the University of Edinburgh. His chief research interests are in evaluating interventions for the treatment, prevention or rehabilitation of stroke in clinical trials and with systematic reviews of clinical trials. He was the Chief Investigator of IST-1, the first mega-trial in acute ischaemic stroke, of aspirin & heparin in 19435 patients with acute stroke recruited from 467 hospitals in 37 countries. He is the Co-Chief Investigator of IST-3, the largest-ever trial of thrombolytic therapy for acute ischaemic stroke, with 3035 patients. He is also Director of Edinburgh Neuroscience.

Case Report of the Year

Dr Jaewoo Pak, Miplant Stems Clinic, Korea
Regeneration of human bones in hip osteonecrosis and human cartilage in knee osteoarthritis with autologous adipose-tissue-derived stem cells: a case series
Journal of Medical Case Reports 2011, 5:296 (7 July 2011)

Dr. Jaewoo Pak is a Korean-American who received his BA degree from University of California, Berkeley in 1988 and MD degree from University of Southern California, School of Medicine in 1992. After his training at a UCLA affiliated hospital, he practiced clinical medicine for few years in California, USA. Realizing limited medical options to treat osteoarthritis, he started clinical research on cartilage regeneration using stem cells. After a brief work experience as product physician at Pfizer Korea Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., he has relocated to Seoul, Korea in 2009, and started practicing regenerative medicine using autologous adipose tissue-derived stem cells for orthopedic applications, mainly cartilage and bone regeneration. Recently, he also has started research on hair re-growth.

Editor of the Year

Professor Marcel Hommel
Malaria Journal
After a medical degree in France and a PhD from the University of Liverpool, Marcel Hommel worked in various research institutes, including the National Institute for Medical Research, the Institut Pasteur and Harvard Medical School. In 1986, he was appointed Professor of Tropical Medicine in Liverpool.

His research interests are mainly in the field of malaria immunology and pathophysiology, and he first described antigenic variation in Plasmodium falciparum and the importance of parasite diversity in the development of immunity. Also interested in the development of immunodiagnostic tests, particularly those applicable in a tropical environment, currently working on a test of cure for visceral leishmaniasis. Over the years, he has supervised 37 research students, taught and examined on many different courses worldwide.

He has been on the editorial board of a number of journals and, for the past 10 years, has been Editor-in-Chief of Malaria Journal.

Open Access Advocate of the Year

Helena Asamoah-Hassan
University Librarian, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology

Helena R. Asamoah-Hassan is the University Librarian of the Kwame University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana and a Fellow of the Ghana Library Association; Member of the UNESCO’s International Advisory Committee on the Memory of the World Programme and Chairperson, Management Committee, Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Ghana (CARLIGH). She is also the Ghana Country Coordinator for INASP’s Programme for the Enhancement of Research Information (PERI) and also for eIFL.net. She was from 2003–2006 the President of the Ghana Library Association, from 2007–2011 an Advisory Board member of the Electronic Information for Libraries Network (eIFLnet) Advisory Board and a Governing Board member of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA).

Cancer and Cardiovascular Research Award

Karen A. Heichman, PhD, University of Utah Department of Pathology Salt Lake City, Utah
Septin 9 methylated DNA is a sensitive and specific blood test for colorectal cancer
BMC Medicine 2011, 9:133 (14 December 2011)

Dr Karen Heichman is the vice president of oncology technology development and licensing at ARUP Laboratories, a national reference laboratory, which is an enterprise of the University of Utah. She is also an Assistant Professor of pathology at the university.

Dr Heichman received an AB in genetics from the University of California at Berkeley and a PhD in biological chemistry from the UCLA School of Medicine, and trained as a postdoctoral fellow in the field of cycle control at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. Dr Heichman has over 25 years of scientific experience in both corporate and academic institutions.

Clinical and Translational Medicine Award

Guan-song Wang and Chang-zheng Wang
Relationship between the anti-inflammatory properties of salmeterol/fluticasone and the expression of CD4+CD25+Foxp3+ regulatory T cells in COPD
Respiratory Research 2011, 12:142 (28 October 2011)

Dr Guansong Wang, born in China recieved his MD degree from the Third Military Medical University (TMMU) in 1991, PhD degree from the TMMU in 2000, and was a postdoctoral fellow trainee in Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center. He is the vice director and professor of the Institute of Respiratory Diseases, Xinqiao Hospital of the TMMU. His research focuses mainly on pathogenesis and signal modulation of COPD pulmonary vascular remodeling and acute lung injury.

Dr Changzheng Wang, born in China received his PhD degree from the TMMU in 1994. He is the director and professor of Institute of Respiratory Diseases, Xinqiao Hospital of the TMMU. His research focuses mainly on bronchial asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases and chronic cough caused respiratory failure.

General Biology Award

Alexei V Korennykh, Princeton University
Cofactor-mediated conformational control in the bifunctional kinase/RNase Ire1
BMC Biology 2011, 9:48 (6 July 2011)

Assistant Professor Alexei V Korennykh was born in the Russian Federation and received an undergraduate education at the Department of Chemistry and Enzymology of Moscow State University. He conducted his graduate studies at the University of Chicago, where he worked with Prof Piccirilli on mechanisms of protein/RNA recognition. For his postdoctoral work in the laboratory of Peter Walter at UCSF, he focused on structural biology and mechanisms of signal transduction in stress response. Currently he is an Assistant Professor of Molecular Biology at Princeton University and works on structural biology, mechanisms and pharmacology of the human innate immune system.

General Medicine Award

Jian Zou
Coffee consumption and risk of cancers: a meta-analysis of cohort studies
BMC Cancer 2011, 11:96 (15 March 2011)

Dr Jian Zou graduated from Shanghai Jiao Tong University and attained his doctorate in 2006. He currently works at the Department of Gastroenterology of Huadong Hospital, Fudan University and is working on a National Nature Science Foundation project. His research focuses mainly on helicobacter pylori, cancer stem cells and tumor prevention.

Genetics, Genomics, Bioinformatics and Evolution Award

Nick Lane, PhD, University College of London
Energetics and genetics across the prokaryote-eukaryote divide
Biology Direct 2011, 6:35 (30 June 2011)

Dr Nick Lane is a biochemist and writer in the Department of Genetics, Evolution and Environment at UCL. His research is on the role of bioenergetics in the origin and evolution of life. He is the first recipient of the UCL Provost’s Venture Research Fellowship, was a founding member of the UCL Consortium for Mitochondrial Research, and is leading the UCL Origins of Life Initiative. He has written three acclaimed books on evolutionary biochemistry, translated into 20 languages. His last book, Life Ascending, won the 2010 Royal Society Prize for Science Books.

Microbiology, Immunology, Infection and Inflammation Award

Áine McKnight, Barts and The London
A whole genome screen for HIV restriction factors
Retrovirology 2011, 8:94 (14 November 2011)

Áine McKnight is Professor of Viral Pathology at Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London. Áine was educated in Dublin, Ireland. She studied for her PhD with Professors Robin Weiss and Paul Clapham on antibody mediated neutralization and tropism of HIV (at ICR and UCL, London). As an early Research Wellcome Trust Career Fellow, and later as a Medical Research Council (UK) Senior Fellow, she developed her own research interest into the pathology of HIV and factors that restrict infection of the host target cell by HIV.

Molecular and Cellular Science Award

Judith A Goodship
Evc2 is a positive modulator of Hedgehog signalling that interacts with Evc at the cilia membrane and is also found in the nucleus
BMC Biology2011, 9:14 (28 February 2011)

Judith A Goodship is a Clinical Geneticist in the Institute of Genetic Medicine, Newcastle University. Her main research interest is heart development and causes of congenital heart defects. Her research group has identified the basis of a number of inherited disorders including Ellis-van Creveld syndrome. People with Ellis-van Creveld syndrome have short limbs and a small rib cage, almost half also have a congenital heart defect. Mutations in two genes, EVC or EVC2. The group has shown that the proteins encoded by these genes interact and localise to primary cilia where they modulate hedgehog signalling.

Neuroscience, Neurology and Psychiatry Award

Filipe Vilas-Boas, Rita Fior, Kate G Storey and Domingos Henrique
A novel reporter of notch signalling indicates regulated and random notch activation during vertebrate neurogenesis
BMC Biology 2011, 9:58 (31 August 2011)

Lead authors, Filipe Vilas-Boas and Rita Fior were graduate students with Dr Domingos Henrique, Instituto Medicina Molecular in Lisbon. Building on the work of Rita who created this high fidelity reporter for Notch signalling, Filipe helped validate this construct and carried out in vivo analysis working with the Tissue Imaging Group lead by Professors Kate Storey and Jason Swedlow at the College of Life Sciences, University of Dundee, UK. Rita and Filipe are currently post-doctoral research fellows at University of Lisbon, investigating cell movements and cell fate in the developing tailbud and reactive oxygen species and tumour angiogenesis respectively.

Plant, Animal Sciences and Veterinary Research Award

Volker Witte and Christoph von Beeren
Acquisition of chemical recognition cues facilitates integration into ant societies
BMC Ecology 2011, 11:30 (1 December 2011)

Volker Witte studied biology at the Johann-Wolfgang-Goethe Universität in Frankfurt/Main, Germany. He completed his diploma in 1997 and his PhD in 2001, on the coordination of collective behaviour in ants. Until 2004 he conducted postdoctoral research at Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA, and at the University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, USA. In 2004 he became Assistant Professor at the Ludwig-Maximilians Universität (LMU) München, Germany.

Christoph von Beeren studied Biology at the Ruprecht-Karls-University Heidelberg and obtained his diploma with the highest mark. He accomplished his PhD in Behavioral Ecology at the Ludwig-Maximilians University Munich studying: “Social integration of macroparasites in ant societies: ultimate and proximate mechanisms” with the grade ‘magna cum laude’.

Public Health Award

Eric B Loucks
Associations of education with 30 year life course blood pressure trajectories: Framingham Offspring Study
BMC Public Health 2011, 11:139 (28 February 2011)

Dr Loucks is an Assistant Professor at Brown University in the Department of Epidemiology. His research currently focuses on social determinants of health, particularly on whether education and the childhood family psychosocial environment are causally related to coronary heart disease. Dr Loucks has over 40 peer-reviewed publications, with a substantial focus on the biological mechanisms by which social factors may influence coronary heart disease. He received his training from the University of British Columbia and the Harvard School of Public Health, and has held teaching positions at Harvard University, McGill University and Brown University.