Early Career ELRIG poster prize success for MDC scientist

Early Career Professional Poster Prize at ELRIG Discovery Technologies 2021

Medicines Discovery Catapult (MDC) scientist, Dr Lauren Toms, has won the Early Career Professional Poster Prize at ELRIG Discovery Technologies 2021.

Dr Lauren Toms, Postdoctoral Scientist in Super-Resolution Imaging, scooped the award for her poster Super Resolution Microscopy to Unravel Complex Medicine-induced Changes in the Protein Nano Environment.

The project was undertaken as part of an innovation proposal at MDC to build a super resolution imaging capability for drug discovery, a specialist technique that is currently challenging to access.

Few SMEs or academics have access to, or the capability for, super resolution microscopy – which can achieve a resolution 10-fold greater than standard confocal microscopy.

On receiving the award, Dr Lauren Toms, said:

“I am very happy to have received this award from ELRIG at the Discovery Technologies conference. The project was unique due to the rarity of the use of super resolution microscopy in the drug discovery process and it presents an exciting opportunity for future projects to harness this technology in other clinical areas. I would like to thank my colleagues at MDC and all of our partners who played a part in this win.”

The work was conducted in collaboration with Professor Neil Thomas’s group at the University of Nottingham, which has developed a new complex medicine with the aim to improve HER2+ breast cancer treatment. Dr Lauren Toms used super resolution microscopy to determine the medicine’s effects on protein distribution on a nano scale.

Prof. Peter Simpson, Chief Scientific Officer at MDC, said:

“I would like to congratulate Lauren on the win for her poster at ELRIG Discovery Technologies. As an early career professional, Lauren is exactly the kind of talent we want to attract and retain at MDC. MDC continues to use and develop novel techniques, such as super resolution microscopy to push the boundaries of what is accessible in drug discovery.”

The ELRIG Discovery Technologies conference brings the drug discovery community together to explore evolving early drug discovery technologies to overcome the challenge of treating targets that were previously deemed intractable.

This is the second ELRIG poster prize MDC has won recently with Dr Nisha Ponnappan,
alongside MDC colleagues Dr Duygu Yilmaz, Dr James Szczerkowski, Dr Martin Bachman and Dr Martin Main in partnership with N4 Pharma, receiving an award for the poster Investigation of Nuvec Particles for Effective Gene Delivery at the ELRIG Drug Discovery Conference 2021.

MDC also enjoyed further success at ELRIG Drug Discovery 2021, with Psychiatry Consortium Programme Manager, Dr Laura Ajram, receiving the prestigious Early Career Impact Award 2021.