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Roche Symposium Showcases Accomplishments of Next Generation of Chemists

NUTLEY, N.J., May 23, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Roche honored 12 outstanding PhD students and two professors with the company's Excellence in Chemistry Award for research accomplishments in the field of organic chemistry. The winners are participating in Roche's annual two-day Roche Symposium: Excellence in Chemistry to gain first hand knowledge on the important role organic chemistry plays in pharmaceutical discovery.

"These students come from a broad range of universities and experiences and are some of the best and brightest in the field," said Karen Lackey, Vice President and Head, Discovery Chemistry at Roche. "We welcome their insights and expertise as well as the opportunity to showcase how chemistry plays a vital role in the development of new medicines."

During the symposium, students will have opportunities to discuss their research projects, hear overviews of the drug discovery process by Roche scientists, and case histories in medicinal and process chemistry as well as tour the Nutley campus. There will also be a plenary lecture by the 2011 faculty award winner Professor Vy Dong of the University of Toronto in Canada.  Professor David Gin of the Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, who passed away in March of 2011, was also selected as one of this year's plenary lecturers. In his honor, Troy Reynolds of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center is a guest speaker.

2011 Student Recipients
Representing a range of 10 prestigious institutions, the 12 winners this year are: D. Karl Bedke (University of California, Irvine), Ian Dailey (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), Adel ElSohly (Columbia University), Fang Gao (Boston College), Allen Hong (California Institute of Technology), Daniel Robbins (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), David Sarlah (The Scripps Research Institute), Danielle Schultz (University of Michigan), Jun Shi (The Scripps Research Institute), Genessa Smith (Colorado State University), Andy Tsai (Yale University), and Zhan Wang (University of California, Berkeley).

Selection Process
Students were nominated by their faculty advisors and selected by a committee comprised of Roche scientists. Eligible students were advanced graduate students who might be interested in the pharmaceutical industry as a career. Besides the opportunity to attend and present their research projects at the symposium, the students each received a crystal award and an honorarium. Professor Dong received an unrestricted grant to support her ongoing research in addition to the honorarium and a research grant in honor of the late Professor Gin is being awarded to Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

About Roche
Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Roche is a leader in research-focused healthcare with combined strengths in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics. Roche is the world's largest biotech company with truly differentiated medicines in oncology, virology, inflammation, metabolism and CNS. Roche is also the world leader in in-vitro diagnostics, tissue-based cancer diagnostics and a pioneer in diabetes management. Roche's personalized healthcare strategy aims at providing medicines and diagnostic tools that enable tangible improvements in the health, quality of life and survival of patients. In 2010, Roche had over 80,000 employees worldwide and invested over 9 billion Swiss francs ($8.7B US) in R&D. The Group posted sales of 47.5 billion Swiss francs ($45.6B US). Genentech, United States, is a wholly owned member of the Roche Group. Roche has a majority stake in Chugai Pharmaceutical, Japan. For more information:

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