BioMed Central Announces Winners of First Open Access Research Awards

Award winners and honorable mentions will be officially celebrated at BioMed Central’s Open Access Colloquium being held today at The Royal College of Physicians in Regents Park, London. The colloquium, entitled “Open Access: How Can We Achieve Quality and Quantity?” will bring together a range of today’s leading authors, researchers, funders, librarians and publishers to examine the value of open access publishing. Scheduled speakers include Sir Muir Gray, the Director of Clinical Knowledge, Process and Safety for England’s National Health Service’s Connecting for Health agency, and Robert Kiley Head of E-Strategy, Wellcome Library at the Wellcome Trust, an independent charity that funds research to improve human and animal health.

About the Honorees:

Lalit Dandona, M.D., Senior Director of the George Institute for International Health in Hyderabad, India, received the BioMed Central Research Award in the field of medicine for his article, “A population-based study of human immunodeficiency virus in south India reveals major differences from sentinel surveillance-based estimates.” The research, which first appeared in the journal BMC Medicine, finds that official government figures may over-estimate the number of HIV-positive people in India.

Dr. Dandona’s major area of professional interest is to contribute to the development of a systematic evidence base for effective health systems and policies that will facilitate better public health for India and other less-developed countries.

Flavio R Zolessi Ph. D., Universidad de la Republica in Montevideo, Uruaguay, and Researcher Grade 3 at PEDECIBA, an autonomous research organization also located in Montevideo, received the BioMed Central Research Award in the field of biology for his article, “Polarization and orientation of retinal ganglion cells in vivo.” The research, which used 4-dimensional microscopy to observe the behavior of retinal ganglion cells when differentiating in wild-type or mutant embryos, first appeared in one of BioMed Central’s journals, Neural Development.

Dr. Zolessi’s main area of study relates to how neurons acquire their polarized structure and function, and how they orient according to this polarity in surrounding tissue. His research has focused on the characterization of the role of the MARCKS protein in neuronal differentiation.

In recognition of their outstanding work, BioMed Central Research Award winners will each be given $5000 US. The BioMed Central Research Awards were sponsored by Invitrogen Corporation, a provider of products and services that support academic and government research institutions as well as pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies.

Honorable mentions in the field of medicine were given to:

·Diane Scutt, University of Liverpool, “Breast asymmetry and predisposition to breast cancer”

·Katarina Slynkova, University of Kentucky Medical Center and Veteran's Administration Medical Center, “The role of body mass index and diabetes in the development of acute organ failure and subsequent mortality in an observational cohort”

·Dominic Job, University of Edinburgh, “Grey matter changes can improve the prediction of schizophrenia in subjects at high risk”

·Judith Lumley, La Trobe University, “PRISM (Program of Resources, Information and Support for Mothers): a community-randomized trial to reduce depression and improve women's physical health six months after birth”

Honorable mentions in the field of biology were given to:

– Daniel J. Jackson, University of Queensland, “A rapidly evolving secretome builds and patterns a sea shell”

– Chris Yesson and Alastair Culham, University of Reading, “A phyloclimatic study of Cyclamen”

– Matthew J. Blow, Cancer Genome Project, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, and Wellcome Trust Genome Campus, “RNA editing of human microRNAs”

– Claude Lechene, National Resource for Imaging Mass Spectrometry, Harvard Medical School and Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, “High-resolution quantitative imaging of mammalian and bacterial cells using stable isotope mass spectrometry”.

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