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Jennifer Shelley wins the IRR Early Career Innovators Competition

June 2020: CIR PhD student Jennifer Shelley has won the IRR Early Career Innovators Competition, pitching to industry and investment experts to win £5k research funding.

A picture of Jennifer Shelley and her vision for new tissue models and peptide-based eczema treatments

Jennifer Shelley is a second year PhD student in Professor Donald J. Davidson’s lab, studying antimicrobial peptides and atopic dermatitis (eczema). Her seven-minute pitch explained the importance of reliable tissue models in studying eczema and possible treatments, with the £5k being put towards reproduction of a new tissue modelling technique she learned as a visiting researcher at Leiden University Medical Centre (LUMC). She will use this model and funding to identify short protein sequences, called peptides, for use in eczema therapies.

The IRR competition has been a really enjoyable opportunity to expand the scope of my research and approach my project from a different angle. I have been able to develop my presentation skills and gain confidence in a more industry-focused environment, which I wouldn’t have accessed otherwise. The competition is a really exciting process which I’d encourage everyone to get involved in for future years!

Jennifer ShelleyWinner of the IRR Early Career Innovators Competition 2020

The competition was open to all early career researchers at the Institute of Regeneration and Repair (IRR), which incorporates the Centre for Inflammation Research (CIR) and the Centre for Regenerative Medicine (CRM). Jennifer was one of four finalists in the competition, which also included Ross Dobie and Emily Thompson from CIR and Cecilia Rocchi from CRM.

Congratulations to all the finalists for their excellent pitches and to Jennifer for winning the funding prize!