Meet The Lab Heroes Awards-TM 2019 Winners

Meet The Lab Heroes Awards-TM 2019 Winners
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3 years ago

Meet The Lab Heroes Awards-TM 2019 Winners

We’re delighted to announce the winners of our Lab Heroes 2019 AwardsTM!

The Lab Heroes AwardsTM were launched back in 2017 with the goal of recognising the unsung champions of the life sciences industry; the life scientists who make a big difference in their labs every day.

This year, our third year of running the awards, we were blown away to receive 272 nominations for 94 superstar scientists – the most nominations we’ve ever had! As it has been for the last two years, picking a winner was incredibly difficult – because every single scientist that was nominated is absolutely a Lab Hero.

Whether they were celebrated for dedication to their research, support for their colleagues, being the person who looks after everyone in their team – the reasons you nominated your colleagues made us feel both inspired and humbled. We are incredibly proud – and extremely lucky – to be part of such a supportive, appreciative community.

And so, it’s time to meet our 2019 winners...


2019 Lab Heroes AwardsTM Winner: Jaana van Gastel, Receptor Biology Lab, University of Antwerp, Belgium

Receiving 14 nominations from current and former colleagues, Jaana van Gastel was acknowledged for her motivation, efficiency, hard work, supportive nature, knowledge, dedication, academic achievements, leadership capabilities and more.

Stuart Maudsley, who works with Jaana at the Receptor Biology Lab at the University of Antwerp said:

Jaana is currently finishing her PhD studies of G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) signalling systems that can be used to control the hyper-complex ageing process. This is indeed a daunting task but one she is quickly proving to be entirely feasible. Her PhD studies in our lab are likely to set a new paradigm for GPCR therapeutic design. Jaana is a great scientist but she is also able to combine this with her consummate ability to help organize her fellow researchers, supervise a small army of interns, maintain smooth operations in the lab, win multiple international travel awards, act as a strong mediator and advocate for others, organize social events both in our lab and outside and, last but not least, provide a powerful leadership example to her many followers. Jaana has grown exponentially in her time in our group, she effortlessly combines both strength and ethical compassion with regards to her scientific research and her general conduct. She is a hero to everyone who meets her, both inside and outside the lab.

When we congratulated Jaana on her win, here’s what she said:

How do I feel about winning? Awesome! This is a very nice initiative, and I can't believe I have so many people supporting me and appreciating my work. A perfect early Christmas present!

Jaana will receive $2000 Hello Bio vouchers, plus a $1000 travel grant. Congratulations!

Read all of Jaana's nominations here


2019 Lab Heroes AwardsTM Runner-Up: Dr. Irfan Khan, Stem Cell Lab, PCMD, International Centre for Chemical and Biological Science, Pakistan

Dr Irfan Khan received 16 nominations from his colleagues, who told us what a brilliant supervisor and scientist he is. They told us that not only is he brilliant in his field and generously shares his knowledge and expertise, but he’s also a fantastic role model who motivates, encourages, and inspires his students.

Mukhtar Ullah, who works with Irfan told us:

"Dedication, motivation and determination are the three qualities that I have witnessed in Dr. Irfan Khan. He is a splendid person, gifted with the talent of developing strong relationships and great communication skills. He has lots of properties that enable him to gain the attention of others and his industrious attitude towards work enables him to excel and thrive in the field of Stem Cell Biology. It is an honour for me to have such a wonderful supervisor."

Another colleague, Shazmeen Aslam, said:

"He is our lab hero not only as a supervisor but also as a great scientist. He always motivates us with novel ideas and solves our problems in the best possible way. He is very enthusiastic and always finds alternatives to make the techniques and things easy and accessible. He is a person with great technical skills as well as devotion to his work. Dr. Khan never gives up and make endless efforts towards the research."

When we told Dr. Khan he was one of our runners up, he said:

It was great and exciting news. I feel honored and privileged, and I acknowledge and value my lab colleagues for nominating me for this award. I would like to thank Hello Bio for honouring me with this award.

Irfan will receive $1000 Hello Bio vouchers, plus a $500 travel grant. Congratulations!

Read all of Irfan's nominations here


2019 Lab Heroes AwardsTM Runner-Up: Gabrielle Todd, The Scimemi Lab, University at Albany, USA

Gabrielle Todd's nominations from her colleagues at the University at Albany told us that she is incredibly positive and supportive, making their lab a better place to be. Gabrielle was praised for her lab management skills, hard work, dedication, efficiency, and more.

Deborah Ariyibi, who works with Gabrielle at The Scimemi Lab, said:

"As our lab manager, Gabrielle is selfless and creative. She consistently finds new ways to make our lab work easier and more efficient. She also checks on each of the people in the lab to make sure that everyone is comfortable with their job. Along with this, we oversee the research papers of the new students in the lab. She stays ready to lend a hand to anyone that is feeling overwhelmed. Gabrielle encompasses everything that a lab hero should be."

Read all Gabrielle's nominations here


Additional Lab Heroes AwardsTM 2019 Commendations

Like last year, the standard of entry was so high that our judges – the Hello Bio Scientific Advisory Board – have allocated some additional prizes to:

  • Marta Giacomello, Department of Biology, University of Padova, Italy
  • Carlo Matera, Nanoprobes and Nanoswitches, Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia, Spain
  • Bruna Giribaldi, Centre for Psychedelic Research, Imperial College London, UK
  • Lizhen Wu, Knackstedt Lab - Psychology Department, University of Florida, USA
  • Dr. Rachel Lippert, Neuronal Control of Metabolism, Max Planck Institute for Metabolism Research, Germany

One of our judges, Professor Elek Molnar, Professor of Neuroscience & International Director, Faculty of Life Sciences at the University of Bristol said:

It was very difficult to pick a winner, because all the shortlisted nominees are brilliant. Jaana’s colleagues provided ample evidence to justify her richly deserved Lab Hero Award. .

Dr Sam Roome, our Director of Marketing, said:

"It has been totally inspiring to read all of the nominations this year. You have told us about your colleagues who are passionate, exceptional, talented, tenacious, caring, facing challenges, and who support you in the lab and beyond it. Massive congratulations to all those who were nominated this year- each and every one is a true lab hero - and we hope that you feel a warm fuzzy glow when you see how valued and appreciated you are by your colleagues! And of course, a huge thank you to everyone who took time out of their busy lab lives to nominate their colleagues - helping to spread that warm fuzzy glow around!"

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Stay tuned for interviews with our winner and runners-up, coming to the blog soon!

View all our wonderful Lab Heroes AwardsTM 2019 nominations here

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