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PhD Student Wins MRC Science Writing Award

MRC PhD student Clare Finlay from the Wolfson Centre for Age-Related Diseases was the runner-up in this year’s Max Perutz Science Writing Award. She received the £1,000 prize for her article explaining her research looking at ways to stop dopamine-producing brain cells from dying in Parkinson’s disease.

Clare received her writing prize on 25 September 2013 during an award ceremony at the Science Museum, London, introduced by Minister of State for Universities and Science, David Willetts MP.

The awards were announced by MRC Chairman and competition judge, Donald Brydon. The other judges included: Jon Snow, Channel 4 newscaster; Roger Highfield, Director of External Affairs at the Science Museum and former New Scientist editor; Lizzie Gibney, Times Higher Education reporter; and last year’s award winner Dr Andrew Bastawrous. 

Members of the MRC’s Council and Management Board as well as colleagues from across the medical research community had the opportunity to congratulate the shortlisted entrants and meet the judges.  A commendation prize of £750 was also awarded to King’s student Nick Dand, from the Division of Medical & Molecular Genetics.

The Max Perutz Award is in its 16th year and encourages MRC-funded researchers to communicate their work to a wider audience. Entrants are asked to explain why their research matters in just 800 words. On the MRC’s website, the award is described as being named ‘in honour of one of the UK’s most outstanding scientists and communicators, Dr Max Perutz.’

Clare’s PhD is funded through an MRC Industrial CASE studentship with Lilly UK, and her supervisor is Dr Susan Duty, Reader in Pharmacology & Neuroscience.

Read Clare’s winning article - A step in the right direction for Parkinson’s disease treatment? – on the MRC’s website.