IMPC Awards 2020 go to scientists in the USA, UK, Canada and Japan

November 30, 2020

KOMP program director Colin Fletcher and his colleague Oleg Mirochnitchenko from NIH, former RIKEN BRC director Yuichi Obata, Ann Flenniken from TCP and Luis Santos from MRC Harwell are the winners of this year´s IMPC Awards.

Each year in autumn, the Steering Committee of the International Mouse Phenotyping Consortium (IMPC) honours several members of the consortium with the IMPC Awards of Excellence in three categories:

  • Award 1 highlights outstanding contributions to the funding and promotion of IMPC across diverse organisations.
  • Award 2 acknowledges special contributions to the operational success of IMPC, including scientific developments in mouse genetics, phenotyping, and data analysis.
  • Award 3 features exceptional engagement to interactions with the biomedical sciences community in the academic, industrial and public sector.

In 2020, the first award goes to two US scientists working in leading positions for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) – the main funding organisation for IMPC. Colin Fletcher has been the director of KOMP and KOMP 2, the highly successful “Knockout Mouse Project” of the US health administration, since its beginning in 2006. As the program director of NIH´s “Office of Research Infrastructure Programs”, Oleg Mirochnitchenko has contributed massively to the success of the KOMP programs and the coordination of the wider IMPC network.

The second award was given jointly to Ann Flenniken, Associate Director of Clinical Phenotyping at The Centre for Phenogenomics (TCP) in Toronto, Canada, and Luis Santos, the Lead Data Wrangler at the IMPC´s Data Coordination Centre in Harwell near Oxford, UK.

Both are well-known to most INFRAFRONTIER partners: As a top-level specialist for phenotyping, Ann has contributed massively to the generation of high quality, reproducible and reliable data all across IMPC phenotyping. She is also a driving force in INFRAFRONTIER bodies like the Technical Working Group (TWG) and the Quality Management Network (QMN). Luis and his team at INFRAFRONTIER partner MRC Harwell have the fundamental role of performing data validation, quality control checks and statistical analysis on preliminary phenotyping data delivered to IMPC by the global network of partner institutes. He actively supports many communication and outreach activities of IMPC as well as INFRAFRONTIER.

The winner of the third IMPC Award is Yuichi Obata, previously the director of the RIKEN BioResource Center (BRC) in Tsukuba near Tokyo, and since April 2019 a senior adviser. He is the man who managed BRC to transform to a major international research centre and to join the IMPC consortium, thus establishing IMPC in Asia and fostering its activities in the Far East.

“The IMPC Awards of Excellence reflect the hard work and ambition of our members and celebrate the successes of individuals who have excelled in their service to the IMPC,” says Steve Brown, Chairman of the IMPC Steering Committee. “This year, we recognise five colleagues who have made outstanding contributions in a number of spheres. Well done – and many congratulations to them all!”

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