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2017 Sartorius Prize winners

2017 Grand Prize Winner

Kole Roybal

Kole Roybal is an assistant professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of California, San Francisco, a member of the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy, and a Chan Zuckerberg Biohub Investigator. His laboratory harnesses the tools of synthetic and chemical biology to engineer the immune cell therapies for cancer and autoimmunity of the future. He received his doctorate from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. There he studied the fundamental cellular and biochemical mechanisms required for immune cell activation and clearance of infections. While a Jane Coffin Childs Postdoctoral Fellow in Wendell Lim’s laboratory at UCSF, he developed a new class of synthetic receptors, which provide unprecedented customization of therapeutic cells for treatment of a broad range of diseases.



Shruti Naik

Shruti Naik received her B.S. in cell and molecular biology from the University of Maryland and her Ph.D. in immunology from the University of Pennsylvania–National Institutes of Health Graduate Partnership Program. During her graduate training, she discovered that normal bacteria living on our skin educate the immune system and help protect us from harmful pathogens, opening the door for microbiota-based therapies in the skin. She is currently at Rockefeller University, where she is studying the interactions between immune cells and stem cells in an effort to develop stem cell–based therapies for inflammatory disorders. She is also a strong advocate for women in science.





Fotios Sampaziotis

Fotios Sampaziotis graduated from the University of Athens in Greece with a degree in medicine. He obtained a Ph.D. in stem cell biology from the University of Cambridge. During his doctoral research, he pioneered the use of bile duct organoids to model diseases of the biliary system, test multiple drugs, and identify new therapeutic agents. Currently, Fotios continues his research at the interface between basic science and clinical medicine as a clinical lecturer in hepatology at the University of Cambridge with clinical commitments in Addenbrooke’s Hospital. His scientific work focuses on combining organoids, bioengineering, and animal studies to regenerate damaged bile ducts in the liver as an alternative therapy to liver transplantation.


Will McLean

As an undergraduate, Will McLean studied biology at Tufts University before going on to attain a Ph.D. at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology within the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology. While at MIT, his doctoral research elucidated the distinct progenitor cell types that exist within the inner ear and their capacity to form sensory cells and neural cell types. As a postdoctoral researcher at Harvard Medical School, he investigated manipulation of signaling pathways to enable otherwise senescent progenitor cells of the cochlea to divide and form new sensory cells. He is currently vice president of biology and regenerative medicine at Frequency Therapeutics. Frequency is currently using McLean’s insights to develop a drug to treat hearing loss by regenerating lost sensory cells.

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