Together, Sonia and Eric are fighting to discover a cure for genetic
WILMINGTON, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sep. 12, 2017--
On Tuesday, September 26, 2017, James Foster, Chairman, President and
Chief Executive Officer of Charles River Laboratories International,
Inc. will present the first Charles River Research Models in Drug
Discovery Award to Sonia Vallabh and Eric Minikel of the Prion
The award will be presented during the opening session of the Inaugural
Charles River World Congress on Animal Models in Drug Discovery &
Development, being held on September 26-27, 2017 in Boston,
From Patient to Scientist
Prion diseases are a group of neurodegenerative diseases that have an
incidence of about 1 in 1 million people, according to the World Health
Organization. Genetic prion diseases are universally fatal and currently
untreatable. In 2011, after watching her mother lose her battle with
this rare disease, Vallabh learned that she had inherited the same
In 2012, Vallabh and Minikel founded the Prion Alliance with the mission
of facilitating the development of a treatment or cure for prion
diseases by raising funds for research, advocating, and connecting
patients and researchers. In 2014, Vallabh, a law school graduate, and
Minikel, an urban planner, both started a PhD program at Harvard Medical
Today, Vallabh and Minikel work side-by-side, based at the Stuart
Schreiber laboratory at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard where,
together with a team of researchers and advisors, they have launched Prions@Broad,
an initiative to discover a treatment for prion disease.
Charles River Research Models in Drug Discovery Award
In 2017, Charles River created the Charles River Research Models in Drug
Discovery Award. The $50,000 award will be given annually at the World
Congress on Animal Models to recognize a researcher, laboratory, or
organization dedicated to supporting the development of novel therapies.
The World Congress on Animal Models is a two-day scientific
program presented by Charles River, in partnership with BioPharm
America™. Attendees also receive full access to BioPharm America™ and
Week Boston events. To learn more and register, visit breakthroughs.criver.com
and follow #CRLworldcon on social media.
“Sonia and Eric’s passion and work ethic are truly extraordinary.
Driven by a uniquely personal connection to this rare disease, their
work toward finding a cure for genetic prion diseases will have a
profound impact on an underserved patient population.” –James C.
Foster, Chairman, President and CEO at Charles River
“We are profoundly grateful to Charles River. Drug discovery is
costly, and this award will move us tangibly toward our goal of
finding a cure for genetic prion diseases.” –Sonia Vallabh, Prion
Scientist at the Broad Institute
About Charles River
Charles River provides essential
products and services to help pharmaceutical and biotechnology
companies, government agencies and leading academic institutions around
the globe accelerate their research and drug development efforts. Our
dedicated employees are focused on providing clients with exactly what
they need to improve and expedite the discovery, early-stage development
and safe manufacture of new therapies for the patients who need them. To
learn more about our unique portfolio and breadth of services, visit www.criver.com.
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Source: Charles River Laboratories International, Inc.
Charles River Laboratories International, Inc.
Corporate Vice President, Public Relations