Outstanding Research Award 2014

Innovative science is at the heart of creating our medicines, yet often, a brilliant insight or a key experiment happens years before a medicine may reach a patient. At Vertex, we believe that it is important to acknowledge these moments of scientific accomplishment, which may be less visible than project successes but are just as vital to the invention of important medicines.

Each year, we present the Vertex Outstanding Research Award to a person or group of individuals on our research team who made the most outstanding innovative contribution that solved a critical scientific problem, set the cornerstone for a medicine that could ultimately transform lives of patients and/or enabled rapid progress in relevant disease or technology areas within Vertex and the broader scientific community globally.

This year’s honoree, Sundeep Shah, a research fellow based at our San Diego site, was recognized for his significant contributions to our Huntington’s disease program. Over the last few years, Sundeep has advanced our understanding of the misfolding of the mHtt protein, and how the release of a toxic portion of the protein could be prevented.  This could serve as the basis for a new approach to treat the disease.

“I’m continually inspired by the passion and commitment of our scientists in early research in pursuing science that can translate into potential medicines for patients,” said Mark Namchuk, Ph.D., Interim Global Head of Research. “It’s important that we recognize scientific advances such as Sundeep’s as their contributions lay the foundation for our future success.”

Recipients receive a financial award and the opportunity to take a 3-month research sabbatical to work on an exciting scientific problem in a lab of their choice, anywhere in the world.

“I’m truly inspired by Vertex’s commitment to understanding the importance of disease biology when developing new medicines for diseases like Huntington’s,” said Sundeep. “Our team is continually motivated by the strength and determination of HD patients and their families and I’m honored to be recognized for my contributions to our program.”