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MedImmune Announces Winners of Its 6th Annual Global Abstract Competition

GAITHERSBURG, Md., Nov. 14, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- MedImmune today announced the winners of its 6th Annual Research Abstract Competition highlighting the work of the next generation of scientific leaders performing research in the areas of respiratory, inflammatory and autoimmune (RIA) disease. Graduate students and postdoctoral fellows were invited to submit abstracts about RIA research as part of a competition sponsored by MedImmune, the global biologics arm of AstraZeneca.

First prize of $2,000 was awarded to Philippe LeBlanc of Department of Medicine, McGill University, Montreal, Canada, for his research topic, Caspase-1 processes HMGB1 into an immunogenic peptide that signals through RAGE.

LeBlanc noted, "Thank you to all the friendly staff at MedImmune who organized this conference and provided an important opportunity for academia to interface with the private research sector. Many congratulations and thanks to the other participants for sharing their excellent work."

Second and third prizes of $1,000 and $500 were awarded respectively to Jillian Barlow, Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Medical Research Council, Cambridge, UK, and Xiangping Yang, Ph.D, National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA.

Launched in 2006, MedImmune's Annual Research Abstract Competition aims to engage emerging scientists in health and science education to cultivate a competitive environment that nurtures future research in key therapeutic areas. In 2009, following the success of the RIA abstract competition in the U.S., MedImmune introduced a similar effort in Europe to acknowledge advances in the field of oncology. Since its inception, the MedImmune Annual Research Competition has received more than 330 research abstracts from across the globe.

"We are continuously impressed with the quality of submissions put forth by these young scientists each year," said Bing Yao, Senior Vice President, R&D and RIA iMed Head. "As a company committed to innovation and scientific education, the Abstract Competition allows us to foster the growth of future scientists and recognize the emerging talent in the scientific community."

MedImmune selected ten finalists from the 80 abstract submissions received this year. Today, finalists presented their research to a panel of MedImmune judges at the company's headquarters in Gaithersburg, MD. The panel of six judges from MedImmune's RIA department then selected the winners. The evaluation of abstracts was based on the following criteria: scientific rationale, description of methodology, suitability of methods to aims, conclusions confirmed by objective results, ethics, scientific value, potential clinical value, originality of work and overall presentation.

About MedImmune

MedImmune, the global biologics arm for AstraZeneca PLC, has approximately 3,500 employees worldwide and is headquartered in Gaithersburg, Maryland. For more information, visit MedImmune's website at

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