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UConn women honored for leadership in research

By Katherine Tibedo
On March 19, 2012

UConn's associate pharmacy professor Dr. Amy Anderson and molecular cell biology graduate student Nicole Wagner were among 10 women awarded a Women of Innovation Award by the Connecticut Technology Council.
The award program honors women leaders in the fields of engineering, technology, and biology, according to the Connecticut Technology Council website. The winners were chosen from 10 categories and a total of 53 finalists.
Anderson, who won in the category of Research Innovation and Leadership, expressed surprise at her win.
"I knew I was a finalist, but I didn't expect to win the award," she said.
She said that she hadn't even prepared a speech.
Wagner expressed a similar sentiment. She said in an email, "I felt honored to be selected as a finalist, but I did not think that I would win; so you can imagine my surprise as they called my name as the winner that night...  I was shocked, surprised, excited, proud, and honored to be a recipient of the award."
Anderson leads a lab at the UConn School of Pharmacy looking She is examining the protein structures of pathogens in order to create more effective drugs. She is also working with Dr. Dennis Wright to further understand how the drug molecule interacts with the protein. Her research goals include pushing the compounds through to clinical trails. Academically she hopes to continue her studies with a particular interest in fighting disease and cancer.
Wagner, who won in the Collegian Innovation and Leadership category was recognized for her research and efforts as the CEO of the company Lambda Vison Inc. She said in an email the company's, which was founded by her research advisor Dr. Robert Birg in 2007, was "to provide high resolution vision to patients with age-related macular degeneration and retinitis pigmentosa."
"I am hoping to graduate within a year, so many of my academic goals involve finishing up experiments that I have been working on and publishing my results," Wagner said of her future goals.
The Connecticut Technology Council is an organization of technology focused companies and institutions. In total is represents over 2,000 companies, according to its website. Its mission, is "to build an interactive community of innovators and their supporters that can leverage these great advantages to create a thriving economy, job growth, a global reputation for entrepreneurial support, and a lifestyle that attracts the best and brightest people to come here and retains the young people who have grown up here."
This marked the eighth year of the Women of Innovation Awards.  


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