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Freya Jephcott and Emma Glennon start up runner up in Post doc Business plan competition

last modified Nov 01, 2019 04:36 PM

A start up created by Freya Jephcott and Emma Glennon from the Department’s Disease Dynamics Unit won second place in the Cambridge Enterprise 2019 Postdoc Business Plan Competition. Freya and Emma have set up Univursa, a start up building analytic tools for rapidly detecting and diagnosing disease outbreaks, including in resource-limited and emergency settings. The initial product is a lightweight application that helps outbreak responders rapidly identify the disease causing an outbreak. 

"The support we have received from the Disease Dynamics Unit and the Vet Med Department has also been invaluable. We are very lucky to work in a fostering environment like the DDU, which gives us the support and freedom to explore turning our research into tools for combatting disease outbreaks in this way.”

Freya pitched the business idea in front of an audience of experts in spin-out investment at an event at Downing College and was awarded the second prize of £10,000 investment sponsored by Cambridge Enterprise. Freya commented:  “The Postdoc Business Plan Competition has been a great experience for us. It really helped shepherd us through the first steps of getting our social enterprise Univursa up and running. The support we have received from the Disease Dynamics Unit and the Vet Med Department has also been invaluable. We are very lucky to work in a fostering environment like the DDU, which gives us the support and freedom to explore turning our research into tools for combatting disease outbreaks in this way.”

More information on the competition and Freya and Emma's project can be found here.

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The 2020 Marjory Stephenson Prize is awarded to Professor Julian Parkhill FRS, from the Dept of Veterinary Medicine, University of Cambridge.

Professor Parkhill is known for his research on bacterial genomes, which he has worked on since the very earliest days of genomics. Initially analysing reference genomes for many important human and animal pathogens, his group moved on to comparative genomics and subsequently large-scale population genomics, as new technologies developed. Read more of this story on https://www.staff.admin.cam.ac.uk/awards/marjory-stephenson-prize

 

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