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News Release
October 23, 2017
Your Contact:
Karen Tiano +49 6151 72 44461

Merck Announces $10,000 Grand Prize Winners of 2017 Life Science Awards
  • Twelve student finalists awarded in three fields of life science: bioseparations, 3D printing and food and beverage safety
  • Grand prize winners Steffen Zobel-Roos, Clausthal University of Technology, Germany, Alexandra Rutz, University of Cambridge, UK and Ruben R.G. Soares, University of Lisbon, Portugal, selected based on research presentations at Merck’s new Life Science Center – Burlington, Boston, USA

Darmstadt, Germany, October 23, 2017 Merck, a leading science and technology company, has recognized a group of outstanding postgraduate students for their research and innovations in life science at an awards ceremony at the company’s new Life Science Center in Burlington, Boston, USA.

Twelve student finalists from across the globe (four in each of the three awards categories: bioseparations, 3D printing and food and beverage safety) presented their research to an audience of Merck leaders and guests. Steffen Zobel-Roos, Alexandra Rutz and Ruben R.G. Soares were each named winners of the $10,000 grand prize in their respective categories.

“We are privileged to play a small role in advancing science and technology through these awards,” said Udit Batra, Member of the Merck Executive Board and CEO, Life Science. “I congratulate all of the winners on their projects. Their talents and imagination are already making an important contribution to the next generation of problem solvers.”

In its third year, this international awards competition recognizes postgraduate students from universities in the U.S., Canada and Europe who demonstrate outstanding achievement, skill and commitment to excellence in the life science field through innovative, cutting-edge research. Previously open only to students researching bioseparations, the competition was expanded in 2017 to include awards categories for 3D printing and food and beverage safety. Winning projects in each category were chosen based on level of innovation, impact on the industry, scientific rigor and communication.

Following are the grand prize winners and their research topics:

  • Steffen Zobel-Roos, Clausthal University of Technology, Germany, Modern Chromatography: A Novel Integrated Counter Current Chromatography Step Fully Automated with Inline Concentration Measurements, $10,000 Grand Prize Winner, LS Award Bioseparations
  • Alexandra Rutz, University of Cambridge, UK, Engineering Hydrogel Inks for 3D Tissue and Organ Printing, $10,000 Grand Prize Winner, LS Award 3D Printing
  • Ruben R.G. Soares, University of Lisbon, Portugal, Towards the Development of Single-Step and Sub-Minute Need Device for the Routine Monitoring of Mycotoxins in Food Feeds, $10,000 Grand Prize Winner, LS Award Food and Beverage Safety

Other finalists and winners $1,500 prizes were:

Bioseparations:

  • Hasin Feroz, The Pennsylvania State University, USA, Purification and Post-Purification Strategies to Improve Yield of Functional Membrane Proteins
  • Petra Steppert, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Austria, Separation of Bionanoparticles by Convective Media
  • Shaojie Zhang, University of Virginia, USA, Understanding Process Performance Parameters in a Two-Step Monoclonal Antibody Chromotographic Purification Process

3D Printing:

  • Molly Kupfer, University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, USA, Myocardial Tissue Engineering with Cells Derived from Human-Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells and a Native-Like, High-Resolution, 3-Dimensionally Printed Scaffold
  • Malachy Maher, University Medical Center Utrecht, The Netherlands, Cardiac Patches to Mend Broken Hearts
  • Michelle Xuanyi Ma, University of California San Diego, USA, A 3D Printed Human iPSC Derived Hepatic Model that Helps Improve In Vitro Liver Functional Maturation

Food and Beverage Safety:

  • Ewa Brychcy-Rajska, University of Environmental and Life Sciences, Poland, Possibilities of Application Acidic Electrolyzed Water and Bioactive Edible Protective Films as Quality Assurance Methods During Refrigerated Storage
  • Emily E. Jackson, University of Nevada, Reno, USA, Cronobacter Typing Methods
  • Courtney Tanabe, University of California, Davis, USA, Arsenic Analysis and Speciation of Wine: New Approaches of Food Safety

About Merck

Merck, the vibrant science and technology company, operates across healthcare, life science and performance materials. Around 51,000 employees work to make a positive difference to millions of people’s lives every day by creating more joyful and sustainable ways to live. From advancing gene editing technologies and discovering unique ways to treat the most challenging diseases to enabling the intelligence of devices – Merck is everywhere. In 2017, Merck generated sales of € 15.3 billion in 66 countries.

Scientific exploration and responsible entrepreneurship have been key to Merck’s technological and scientific advances. This is how Merck has thrived since its founding in 1668. The founding family remains the majority owner of the publicly listed company. Merck holds the global rights to the Merck name and brand. The only exceptions are the United States and Canada, where the business sectors operate as EMD Serono in healthcare, MilliporeSigma in life science, and EMD Performance Materials.