Maliha Tanjum Chowdhury, a third-year Biochemistry student at the School of Life Sciences of Independent University Bangladesh (IUB) has won the prestigious international Wellcome Sanger Institute Prize 2019. This is the first time that a Bangladeshi student has won this international recognition. The Wellcome Sanger Institute is one of the most renowned centers for genome research in the world. The winner of the Wellcome Sanger Institute Prize is awarded a 3 month internship in the UK at the institute where all expenses including travel and accommodation, etc. are covered.
Three students from the School of Life Sciences at IUB (Jabale Rahmat and Humaira Alam along with Maliha Tanjum Chowdhury) were among the 34 participants who made it to the second stage, out of 480 students from a list of 135 eligible countries who had participated in the first round.
The Sanger Institute Prize is an annual competition which began in 2002 by the Wellcome Sanger Institute for undergraduate students from low and middle-income countries which assesses the students’ inherent understanding of genomics and their ability to critically utilise that knowledge in proposing innovative ways of moving forward experimentally. In the 2019 competition, applicants were asked to write an essay detailing their interest in genomics for the first round. The selected individuals from the first round were then invited to send in an article in the form of a commentary for the journal Nature on the topic “CRISPR-cas9: Opportunities and Hurdles for Clinical Translation”.