Tuesday, April 16, 2024

AstraZeneca Awards Postdoctoral Research Grants to Eight Innovators in Groundbreaking R&D Challenge

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AstraZeneca has revealed the names of the eight recipients of the 2023 R&D Postdoctoral Challenge, a pioneering initiative aimed at fostering collaboration, innovation, and global diversity in the field of medical research. These winners will receive funding for their postdoctoral positions at AstraZeneca’s strategic R&D centers, located in Cambridge, UK, Gaithersburg, Boston (US), or Gothenburg, Sweden.

The R&D Postdoctoral Challenge distinguishes itself from traditional industry postdoctoral programs, which typically offer predefined projects. In its second year, this unique program from AstraZeneca opens the door for early-career scientists worldwide to submit and potentially pursue their novel research proposals within the company. Assisted by highly skilled and multidisciplinary research teams, these innovators will embark on their distinct research projects with the ultimate goal of expediting drug discovery for some of the world’s most intricate rare and chronic diseases. By promoting diverse thinking and encouraging global collaboration, AstraZeneca continues to push the boundaries of science to deliver groundbreaking medicines.

From nearly 100 applicants, eight finalists emerged and presented their research proposals during a live event at AstraZeneca’s Discovery Centre (DISC) in Cambridge, UK. Following their presentations to a judging panel comprised of AstraZeneca and external life science leaders, the winners were chosen based on scientific excellence and their potential to make a genuine impact on patient outcomes.

Dr. Jenni Nordborg, Director of International Affairs at Lif, commented, “I was captivated by the pitches and the novel approaches presented by each finalist on stage. More than that, I was inspired by their enthusiasm, passion for science, and dedication to research that will enhance patient outcomes.”

Dr. Sharon Barr, Executive Vice President of BioPharmaceuticals R&D at AstraZeneca, expressed, “Scientific progress relies on our ability to nurture a community that embraces new ideas and fresh perspectives from the next generation of leading scientists. We are thrilled to welcome the eight winners to AstraZeneca, as this unique program underscores our commitment to supporting emerging talent and science-driven innovation.”

Dr. Seng Cheng, Senior Vice President of Research and Product Development at Alexion, noted, “The winners share a common willingness to break away from convention and embrace a program that is revolutionizing the traditional postdoctoral scheme. They bring the passion and drive to innovate, along with a collective ambition to expedite drug discovery.”

As recipients of fully funded AstraZeneca postdoctoral research positions, these eight innovators gain access to the company’s expertise, compounds, cutting-edge tools, and technologies, as well as mentoring support, enabling them to transform their innovative ideas into solutions that could benefit patients worldwide.

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