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Winners of the Chris McGuigan Drug Discovery Awards

In the 2021 Chris McGuigan Symposium, three awards will be presented to researchers who have excelled in the field of drug discovery. This event will take place on 22 April 2022 with the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions.

The McGuigan Outstanding PhD Thesis Award

Recognising the best thesis in drug delivery related research by a Cardiff University doctoral graduate.

The 2021 winner for this highly competitive prize was won by Dr Wioleta Milena Zalek for targeting membrane attack complex (MAC) in common inflammatory diseases.

Dr. Zelek
Dr. Wioleta Zelek

The McGuigan Rising Star Award

Given to an early career researcher who has made a significant, original and internationally recognised impact.

Dr Michael Menden of Helmholtz Zentrum München was awarded the prize for his work on translational computational pharmacogenomics.

Dr. Menden
Dr. Michael Menden

The McGuigan Award for Distinguished Work in Drug Discovery

Recognises a senior researcher who has a distinguished international reputation and a proven track record of leadership in initiating or progressing new scientific principles, or translating drug discovery towards the development of human medicines.

The award was given to Professor Johan Neyts of the Rega Institute of KU Leuven for his work battling viruses. His lab has a long-standing expertise in the development of antiviral strategies and drugs against emerging and neglected viral infections (such as dengue and other flaviviruses, Chikungunya, enteroviruses, coronaviruses such as SARS-CoV2, noroviruses, HEV and rabies).  A second focus of his laboratory is on the development of novel vaccine strategies using the yellow fever vaccine as a vector.

Several classes of antivirals discovered in his laboratory have been licensed to major pharmaceutical companies (this includes compounds against HCV, dengue, rhino/enteroviruses and RSV). He has published nearly 600 papers in peer reviewed journals. Johan is past-president of the International Society for Antiviral Research

Prof. Neyts
Professor Johan Neyts

The Chris McGuigan Drug Discovery Awards and Symposium are made possible through a generous donation by Dr Geoff Henson.