QIAGEN announces winners of 2018 Microbiome Awards competition
Two extraordinary young scientists honored with prizes and more than $100,000 in support for research into the impacts of microbial communities on human health
Hilden, Germany, and Germantown, Maryland, October 17, 2018 – QIAGEN today announced the winners of its fifth annual 2018 Microbiome Awards, a competition for outstanding researchers working on diverse aspects of the microbiome. The prize package totals more than $100,000. This year’s winner in the Ph.D. Scientist category is Dr. Hannah Wardill of The University of Adelaide, Australia, and The University Medical Centre Groningen, the Netherlands. In the Ph.D. Student category the winner is Marsha Wibowo of Harvard Medical School, who will carry out her project at Harvard’s Joslin Diabetes Center.
“Studies of the microbiome hold great promise for providing insights that lead to novel strategies for prevention and treatment of disease. As the global leader in Sample to Insight solutions for molecular testing, QIAGEN sponsors this competition with high-level, independent judging to encourage researchers in some of the most innovative explorations of how microbial communities influence our environment and health,” said Dr. Thomas Schweins, Senior Vice President, Life Science Business Area, for QIAGEN. “We are pleased to honor these two outstanding young scientists and provide support for their research. The Microbiome Awards are the largest research awards program focusing on this important field.”
Dr. Wardill’s ongoing research aims to apply knowledge in in the field of oncogastroenterology to provide precision medicine to children with cancer. By exploiting the emerging link between the microbiome and cancer treatment, Dr. Wardill is developing a microbial algorithm to predict treatment response, thus enabling implementation of personalized treatment strategies. This approach will enable proactive delivery of supportive care measures, help avoid ineffective treatments and provide an opportunity to enhance the outcomes of cancer treatment by modulating the microbiome. Dr. Wardill will receive a research package of QIAGEN products and services totaling $80,000.
“It seems the microbiome is now linked with almost every disease imaginable, and with this comes an increasingly large pool of scientists tackling similar research questions,” Dr. Wardill said. “To have my research recognized on this scale is extremely validating, and reinforces the importance and rigor of my work. I am extremely proud and humbled to be recognized in the Microbiome Awards.”
Ms. Wibowo’s research project will examine the role of extinction events in the gut microbiome during the progression of obesity and type 2 diabetes. She will receive a research package of QIAGEN products and services worth more than $20,000.
The judging panel for the Microbiome Awards consisted of independent, distinguished scientists from various institutions and universities, who are currently leading the field of microbiome research. The judges included Dr. Elisabeth Bik of uBiome; Dr. David Coil, University of California, Davis; Dr. Daryl Gohl, the University of Minnesota Genomics Center Innovation Lab and CoreBiome; Dr. Emily Hollister, Diversigen; and Dr. Christopher Stewart, Newcastle University. For more information about the projects of the Microbiome Award winners, please visit https://mobio.com/winners.
QIAGEN’s Leadership in Microbiome Research
As an industry pioneer of research solutions for sample preparation, in-depth molecular analyses and data interpretation, QIAGEN is a renowned supporter of microbiome research initiatives worldwide. Products from the microbiome portfolio are currently used and recommended by international consortia like the Human Microbiome Project, the Earth Microbiome Project and the MetaSUB Consortium.