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Finalists Named in Inaugural SoBran/NCBiotech Life Science Research Prize Competition

Five research scientists from three North Carolina universities are finalists in the inaugural Innovation for Impact Prize competition, co-sponsored by SoBran Bioscience and the Piedmont Triad Office of the North Carolina Biotechnology Center.

A team of judges chose the finalists from among 17 researchers at universities and emerging companies who entered the competition by answering the question, “How will your research heal, fuel or feed the world in the future?”

A grand prize winner, to be announced at Triad BioNight on March 30 in Greensboro, will receive a pre-clinical research study valued at $10,000 and a cash prize of $1,000. The four runners-up will each receive $500 cash prizes.

The five finalists are:

  • Hye Won Kang, Ph.D., assistant research professor, family and consumer sciences, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University
  • Anthony Kennedy, Ph.D., associate professor of analytical chemistry, East Carolina University
  • Perpetua Muganda, Ph.D., professor of biology, NCA&T
  • Nicholas Oberlies, Ph.D., associate professor of medicinal chemistry and pharmacognosy at the University of North Carolina Greensboro
  • Shengmin Sang, Ph.D., associate professor and lead scientist in the Center for Excellence in Post-Harvest Technologies, NCA&T

“We are pleased to have collaborated with SoBran to help create an opportunity for our talented researchers and entrepreneurial life science companies statewide to share more about advancing their ideas,” said Nancy Johnston, executive director of NCBiotech’s Piedmont Triad Office. “The excellent work of these five finalists is just another example of North Carolina's global leadership in life science innovation and its importance to humankind.”

SoBran, a 700-employee privately held contract research organization headquartered in Fairfax, Va., and NCBiotech announced the Innovation for Impact Prize in February 2016 to recognize and encourage commercialization of innovation statewide. It was an outgrowth of the coordination that led SoBran to establish its animal care and research facility at NCA&T.

SoBran’s Triad headquarters is in the Gateway University Research Park in Greensboro.

The Innovation for Impact Awards are the newest of the accolades distributed at Triad BioNight -- an event held every couple of years by NCBiotech to celebrate the partnerships and entrepreneurship that continue to build the vibrant life science sector powering North Carolina from its Piedmont Triad region.

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