MedImmune announces winners of European Cancer Research Abstract Competition

Cambridge, UK

Today MedImmune announced the winners of its annual European Cancer Research Abstract Competition, which recognizes outstanding research of aspiring scientists. Students and postdoctoral fellows from across Europe submitted abstracts describing their research in the field of tumor microenvironments to compete in the prestigious European competition sponsored by MedImmune, AstraZeneca’s global biologics arm.

Alexandra Avgustinova from The Institute of Cancer Research, London, UK was awarded first prize of £2,000 for her research entitled Characterization of the Tumor-Fibroblast Cross-talk in a Mouse Model of Disease Progression. “For any young scientist, the opportunity to share scientific work is extremely rewarding. Beyond that, having my work acclaimed by a panel of experts is a great honor indeed,” commented Alexandra Avgustinova. “Receiving this award fuels my hope and desire to see my research in practical application in the future. I would like to thank The Institute of Cancer Research for enabling me to conduct this research and MedImmune for the recognition.”

Second and third prizes of £1,000 and £500 were awarded to Metamia Ciampricotti from The Netherlands Cancer Institute, Amsterdam, The Netherlands and Holly Barker from The Institute of Cancer Research, London, UK, respectively.

Congratulating the winners, Dr Thorsten Hagemann, Clinical Senior Lecturer, Barts Cancer Institute, Queen Mary University of London, UK and one of the competition’s judges said, “It is extremely encouraging to see the quality of scientific work being produced by these young scientists. Initiatives such as this competition are an essential part of our fight against cancer – highlighting new research, helping us to discover fresh scientific talent and new therapeutic solutions to human disease. Alexandra’s research is cutting edge science which will have an immediate impact on cancer treatment”.

“MedImmune is committed to fostering the development of the next generation of leading scientists focused on improving human health. This competition provides us with the opportunity to highlight and reward the innovative work of talented scientists, which in the current economic climate we feel is especially important,” said Matthew McCourt, Director of Biology, Oncology at MedImmune. “We congratulate all ten finalists for being selected in this tough, competitive programme and feel privileged to be able to provide some recognition for their dedication.”

The competition was open to graduate students and postdoctoral fellows in Europe with ten finalists shortlisted to present their research to an expert panel of judges including Dr Thorsten Hagemann, Clinical Senior Lecturer, Barts Cancer Institute, Queen Mary University of London, UK, Dr Christian Blank, Group Leader, Immunology, The Netherlands Cancer Institute, Amsterdam, The Netherlands and a senior executive from both MedImmune and AstraZeneca. The focus of the competition – tumor microenvironments – reflects the research interests of MedImmune’s UK-based Oncology Department in Cambridge. The three winners were announced at the awards ceremony in Cambridge University’s prestigious Downing College following evaluation of their presentations on the basis of scientific merit, innovation and delivery.

About MedImmune
MedImmune, the global biologics arm of AstraZeneca plc. (LSE: AZN.L, NYSE: AZN) has approximately 3,500 employees worldwide and is headquartered in Gaithersburg, Maryland. For more information, visit MedImmune’s website at