"We introduced the Passion in Science Awards in 2014 to recognize scientists who are committed to making a difference through scientific mentorship, humanitarian service, environmental stewardship or artistic endeavors," said Jim Ellard, Chief Executive Officer at NEB. "The genuine enthusiasm and dedication of our 2016 awardees demonstrates what it truly means to be a scientist in the 21st century. We were honored to be able to recognize them for their extraordinary efforts, and are pleased to now be able to share their stories with the broader scientific community."
Shelly Xie, one of the 2014 Passion in Science Awardees, was also present to honor this year's winners. Shelly received her award for using sand animation to educate people about neglected tropical diseases, and returned to premiere her new sand animation on sickle cell disease.
"It was uplifting to see prior winners, like Shelly, are still engaged in their altruistic pursuits," said Ellard. "We hope to continue this tradition with the Passion in Science Awards for many years to come."
Individual video talks can be accessed below:
Arts and Creativity Award®
- Scott Chimileski (Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA): combating our society's fear of microbes through photography to showcase their beauty, natural history and value.
- Dana Simmons (University of Chicago, Chicago, IL): isolating neurons and injecting them with colorful dyes to generate digital brain art.
- Christine Liu (University of California, Berkeley, CA): uniting scientists and artists together to create informative "zines" to help bring science to wider audiences.
- Wilbur Ryan (Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL): bringing back the 'Schoolhouse Rock!' approach to teach students across the country about the foundations of ecology through short animated films.
Humanitarian Duty Award®
- Karishma Bhagani (Matone de Chiwit, Farmington, CT): purifying water through the distribution of locally sourced, all-natural water purification units in rural communities around the globe.
- Nina Dudnik (Seeding Labs, Boston, MA): breaking down socio-economic barriers for scientists in developing countries by matching them with high-quality lab equipment to help magnify the impact of their research.
- Scott O'Neill (Monash University, Victoria, Australia): controlling virus-spreading mosquitos by infecting them first to stop the spread of diseases like dengue fever.
- Lucia Prieto Godino (University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland): leveling the scientific playing field between Africa and the West through a global science education program.
Environmental Stewardship Award®
- Alexandra Polasko (University of California, Los Angeles, CA): developing a low-cost test to screen for natural bacteria that can biodegrade hazardous contaminants in groundwater.
- Lisa Anderson (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA): launching a laboratory glove-recycling program to reduce lab waste and "upcycling" uncontaminated gloves into new materials such as chairs and park benches.
- Lucy Lahrita (Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan): curbing the accumulation of non-recycled plastic waste in landfills by converting them into synthetic fuel for cost-effective energy.
Science Mentorship and Advocacy Award®
- Amanda Munson (Shenandoah University, Winchester, VA): inspiring high school girls to have an "I can" attitude about biotech careers through her educational outreach program.
- David Ng (University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada): challenging the status quo in traditional science classrooms by promoting scientific literacy through hands-on approaches, including creative writing and a crowd-sourced STEM card game.
- Chris Martine (Bucknell University, Lewisburg, PA): reinvigorating student interest in botany through a series of YouTube videos to reveal the rich biodiversity that often goes unappreciated.
- Sabah Ul-Hasan (University of California, Merced, CA): producing a science documentary series to highlight the symbiotic relationships in underappreciated bioregions in America.
About New England Biolabs
Established in the mid 1970's, New England Biolabs, Inc. (NEB) is the industry leader in the discovery and production of enzymes for molecular biology applications and now offers the largest selection of recombinant and native enzymes for genomic research. NEB continues to expand its product offerings into areas related to nucleic acid purification, PCR, gene expression, sample preparation for next generation sequencing, synthetic biology, glycobiology, epigenetics and RNA analysis. Additionally, NEB is focused on strengthening alliances that enable new technologies to reach key market sectors, including molecular diagnostics development. New England Biolabs is a privately held company, headquartered in Ipswich, MA, and has extensive worldwide distribution through a network of exclusive distributors, agents and seven subsidiaries located in Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, Singapore and the UK. For more information about New England Biolabs visit www.neb.com.
NEB®, NEW ENGLAND BIOLABS®, PASSION IN SCIENCE AWARD®, SCIENCE MENTORSHIP AND ADVOCACY AWARD®, ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP AWARD®, HUMANITARIAN DUTY AWARD® and ARTS AND CREATIVITY AWARD® are registered trademarks of New England Biolabs, Inc.
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