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MedImmune Announces Winners of the 5th Annual Respiratory, Inflammation and Autoimmunity Research Abstract Competition
Date:11/17/2010

GAITHERSBURG, Md., Nov. 17, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- MedImmune announced the winners of its 5th Annual Research Abstract Competition highlighting the work of the next generation of scientific leaders performing research in areas of respiratory, inflammation and autoimmune (RIA) disease. Graduate students and postdoctoral fellows from around the world were invited to submit abstracts on RIA research as part of a competition sponsored by MedImmune, AstraZeneca's global biologics unit.

First prize of $2,000 was awarded to Jennifer Martinez, Ph.D., Department of Immunology, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, TN, for her research topic "The role of LC3- associated phagocytosis in the clearance of dead cells."

Martinez noted: "I am appreciative for the recognition and the opportunity to present my data.  It was also a great chance to learn about research in the field my colleagues are doing around the world."  

Second and third prizes of $1,000 and $500 were awarded respectively to Jeremy Di Domizio, Ph.D., Department of Immunology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, and Donald Simons, Ph.D., of The Wistar Institute, Philadelphia.

"We are impressed by the quality of research that is being conducted by young scientists," said Bahija Jallal, executive vice president of research and development at MedImmune. "This competition, which is one of the many activities MedImmune leads to engage emerging scientists in advancing health and science education, uncovered some extraordinary ideas that could help researchers further understand approaches in the RIA therapeutic area."

The competition was open to graduate students and postdoctoral fellows worldwide, with ten finalists selected to present their research to a panel of MedImmune experts at the company's headquarters in Gaithersburg.  Evaluation of abstracts were 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 MedImmuneMedImmune, the worldwide biologics unit for AstraZeneca PLC (LSE: AZN.L, NYSE: AZN), has approximately 3,500 employees worldwide and is headquartered in Gaithersburg, Maryland. With an advancing pipeline of promising drug candidates, MedImmune strives to deliver life-changing products, a rewarding career to our employees and a tireless commitment to improving patient health. For more information, visit MedImmune's website at www.medimmune.com.

Notes to Editors:First Place:  Jennifer Martinez, Ph.D., Department of Immunology, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, TN, for her research topic "The role of LC3- associated phagocytosis in the clearance of dead cells."

Second Place:  Jeremy Di Domizio, Ph.D., Department of Immunology, M D Anderson, Houston. The title of his abstract is "A novel class of host-derived etiological agent for autoimmunity: oligomers of endogenous proteins complex with self-nucleic acids and trigger Type I interferon production by plasmacytoid dendritic cells."

Third Place:  Donald Simons, Ph.D., of The Wistar Institute, Philadelphia. The title of his abstract is "Monocytes promote the formation of Th17 cells in inflammatory arthritis."Media Contact:Karen Lancaster(301) 398-5864
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