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MedImmune Announces Winners of the 4th Respiratory, Immunology and Autoimmunity Research Abstract Competition

GAITHERSBURG, Md., Nov. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- MedImmune today announced the winners of a research abstract competition highlighting the work of the next generation of scientific leaders in respiratory disease, inflammation and autoimmunity (RIA). Students and postdoctoral fellows from across the country were invited to submit abstracts on RIA research as part of a competition sponsored by MedImmune, a leading biologics company headquartered in Gaithersburg, Maryland.

The competition's ten finalists convened today at the company's headquarters to present their research to an expert panel of MedImmune judges. The three winners were announced at the awards ceremony following the presentations.

First prize of $2,000 was awarded to Eric Boilard, a postdoctoral student of Harvard Medical School and Brigham & Women's Hospital for his research on the role of platelets in amplifying inflammation in arthritis. "I would like to thank everyone at MedImmune for sponsoring this competition. I am honored to be a winner and grateful for the opportunity to receive such great feedback from renowned individuals on the panel."

Second and third prizes of $1,000 and $500 were awarded to Irving Allen of University of North Carolina and Kerstin Kiefer of Boston University School of Medicine, respectively.

"We saw some very high-caliber preclinical approaches," said Anthony J. Coyle, Ph.D., vice president, research and development and head, respiratory, inflammation and autoimmunity research at MedImmune. "Their research could pave the way for further understanding of the mechanism of these diseases, and could potentially help in the development of new therapies."

"We are committed to investing in future scientists and promoting health and science education," said Bahija Jallal, Senior Vice President of Research and Development at MedImmune. "We were impressed with today's presentations, and congratulate all of the ten finalists on their thought-provoking work."

The competition was open to graduate students and postdoctoral fellows worldwide. The expert panel of judges evaluated the abstracts according to the following criteria: scientific rationale, description of what was done, suitability of methods to aims, conclusions confirmed by objective results, ethics, scientific value, potential clinical value, originality of work and overall presentation.

Notes to Editors:

    First Place:      Harvard Medical School, Brigham & Women's Hospital
                      postdoctoral student Eric Boilard. The title of his
                      abstract is "Platelets amplify inflammation in arthritis
                      via collagen-dependent microparticle production."

    Second Place:     University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill postdoctoral
                      student Irving Allen. The title of his abstract is
                      "NLRX1 is a regulator of the innate immune response to
                      influenza A virus infection."

    Third Place:      Boston University School of Medicine postdoctoral
                      student Kerstin Kiefer. The title of her abstract is
                      "The role of TAM receptor tyrosine kinases in B cell
                      activation and differentiation."

About MedImmune

MedImmune, the worldwide biologics business for AstraZeneca PLC (LSE: AZN.L, NYSE: AZN), has approximately 3,100 employees worldwide and is headquartered in Gaithersburg, Maryland. With an advancing pipeline of promising candidates, we aim to be the next revolutionary force in biotechnology by delivering life-changing products, industry-leading performance, and a tireless commitment to improving patient health. For more information, visit MedImmune's website at

Media Contact:

    Perla Copernik
    (301) 398-4952

SOURCE MedImmune

SOURCE MedImmune
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