Dr McGirr named ‘Future Innovator’ Winner at KTP Best of the Best Awards

Dr Leona McGirr of Fusion Antibodies has received a top honour at the annual celebration of the most outstanding Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) Projects.

At the reimagined ‘Virtual Awards Ceremony’ which took place on 09 September 2020, Dr McGirr was awarded the “Best of the Best, Future Innovator Award.”

The Future Innovator category of the KTP Best of the Best Awards spotlights the depth and diversity of opportunities created for KTP Associates – as well as the exceptional impact made by these talented Graduates and Post Graduates who lead each KTP Project.

KTP Associate, Leona McGirr (PhD Physical Chemistry) led the KTP project for Fusion Antibodies, supporting the company’s service offering in antibody engineering; transforming capabilities and competitiveness in the antibody discovery space and helping biotechnology and pharmaceutical organisations speed up the development of the best antibodies possible. Ultimately, helping organisations accelerate the provision of treatments that improve the lives of patients throughout the world.

On receiving her award, Leona said:

“I am hugely honoured to win this award which would not have been possible without the support and encouragement from the Professor Chris Scott group at the Patrick Johnson Centre, Queens University Belfast (QUB) and the QUB KTP Office.

“Leadership is also collaborative, and I would like to give my heartfelt thanks to all of my colleagues at Fusion Antibodies who make it such an inspirational place to work and who all played an integral part in this win.”

Professor Chris Scott of the Patrick G Johnston Centre who has supported Dr McGirr through this project, shared his congratulations:

“I am absolutely delighted for Leona and the team that has been developed at Fusion on this project. KTP is a fantastic vehicle for technology and skills development and we at the Patrick G Johnston Centre are delighted to support our local companies to develop their technologies.”

Lorraine Marks, Head of KTP & Business Engagement Programmes commented:

“There were an unprecedented number of high-quality nominations in the Future Innovator category this year – Leona’s award is a testament to the real benefit that she has delivered to her company partner through collaboration with Professor Scott

Paul Kerr, CEO of Fusion Antibodies said:

“We are hugely proud of Leona and her achievement. Dr McGirr is an exceptional scientist who is a role model inspiring the next generation of female scientists and we hope that as an organisation we can continue to increase the presence of female talent in the world of science.”