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Thursday 11 June 2015

Announcement of first joint EACPT-EPHAR Young Investigator Awards in Translational Pharmacology

The inaugural EACPT-EPHAR Young Investigator Awards in Translational Pharmacology have been conferred on PhD student Christoph Schneider from Bern in Switzerland and Dr Daniel Antoine from Liverpool in the UK.

The Federation of European Pharmacology Societies (EPHAR) and the European Association for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics (EACPT) developed this joint initiative to recognise projects of excellence in translational research in pharmacology. There are 2 awards of EUR 1,000 each that will be given in 2015 to the above two young scientists for their recent outstanding research papers. 

Requirements for the Awards are that applicants must be not more than 35 years of age on the deadline date, have as first author published an outstanding paper in the 2 years prior to the Awards, have conducted the submitted study in an institution of a country member of EACPT and/or EPHAR; and be a member of one of the member societies of EPHAR or EACPT, or be an individual associate member of EACPT.

Christoph Schneider's award was for his paper The human IgG anti-carbohydrate repertoire exhibits a universal architecture and contains specificity for microbial attachment sites, which was published in the journal Science Translational Medicine in January 2015.
A systems biology approach was applied in this study to explore the human repertoire of IgG antibodies for binding 610 different biologically relevant glycan epitopes. Schneider conducted the data analysis using state-of-the-aart bioinformatics involving a range of programs, including the statistical computing graphic software environment “R”. Furthermore, Schneider conducted research involving full access to the consortium of functional glycomics array database as well as the bacterial carbohydrate structure database.

Christoph Schneider
Christoph Schneider's obtained his Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences from the University of Bern, Switzerland in 2013. Since then, he has been PhD student at the Institute of Pharmacology of the University of Bern, in the research-group of Stephan von Gunten (MD, PhD). Christoph Schneider gained previous insights into research as research assistant in Switerland at the ETH in Zurich as well as at Frimorfo AG in Marly. Currently, his research interests cover different fields of glycomics and immunology, such as the protein-carbohydrate interactions of immunoglobulins and of Siglec receptors, expressed on NK- and cytotoxic T cells. His research is based on in vitro techniques involving primary human leukocytes as well as human antibody-preparations and involves different analytical approaches, such as flow cytometry, glycan arrays, confocal microscopy and system level approaches.

Dr Daniel Antoine's award was for his paper Mechanistic Biomarkers Provide Early and
Sensitive Detection of Acetaminophen-Induced Acute Liver Injury at First Presentation to
Hospital published in August 2013 in the journal Hepatology. The main finding of this published study was that a panel of novel biomarkers linked to the mechanism of hepatotoxicity can report acute liver injury very early on in man, before currently
used clinical chemistry markers. This paper builds on his previous translational work in clinical and preclinical studies utilising this biomarker approach to define the mechanistic basis of acetaminophen-induced liver injury and to also predict prognosis. 
Dr Daniel Antoine

Dr  Antoine works in the MRC Centre for Drug Safety Science in the Department of. Molecular and Clinical Pharmacology at the University of Liverpool in the UK. Dr Daniel Antoine is currently a Wellcome Trust funded research fellow at the MRC Centre for Drug Safety Science (CDSS) and lecturer in Pharmacology at the University of Liverpool, UK. Dr Antoine completed his PhD in 2009 in Pharmacology. Prior to his PhD, Dr Antoine completed his B.Sc (Hons) in Biochemistry (first class) and worked in research posts within Molecular Toxicology at AstraZeneca. He undertook postdoctoral training at the CDSS with Prof BK Park and Prof M Pirmohamed as well as Royal Society International Travelling Fellowships at the Harvard Medical School, USA, with Prof JV Bonventre and at the Karolinska Institute, Sweden, with Prof U Andersson. Dr Antoine is currently the coordinator of the safety biomarker research group at the CDSS, Liverpool, UK. 

His research is mainly focused on the understanding of fundamental mechanisms related to adverse drug reactions and the prediction of drug toxicity through the development of translational biomarkers of drug-induced liver and kidney injury. He is a member of the DILI (drug-induced liver injury) project team for the SAFE-T (Safer And Evidence based Translation) IMI consortium to develop and qualify safety biomarkers. He also sits on the British Toxicology Society’s (BTS) Education, Training and Early Career Toxicologists Sub-Committee and is the co-chair of the British Pharmacological Society (BPS) Toxicology Affinity Group. In 2014, Dr Antoine was elected to serve as a Councillor for the International Union of Basic and Clinical Pharmacology (IUPHAR) Drug Metabolism and Drug Transport Section Executive Board. 

In 2013, Dr Antoine received the British Toxicology Society’s Early Career Investigator Award and in 2015 received the European New Investigator Award from the International Society for the Study of Xenobiotics (ISSX) and the 2015 Bill Bowman Travelling Lectureship from the British Pharmacological Society. Dr Antoine is an editorial board member for the journals Pharmacology Research & Perspectives and Biomarkers. Dr Antoine’s academic research is currently funded by grants awarded from the European Commission, Medical Research Council, Wellcome Trust, The Royal Society and the pharmaceutical industry.

The  joint EACPT-EPHAR Young Investigator Awards in Translational Pharmacology will be presented at an Awards Ceremony during the 12th EACPT Congress in Madrid - 27th - 30th June 2015 where both award winners will present their research findings.

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