The Graduate Studies Committee awards prizes each year to current or recently graduated students of NDM supervisors on the basis of their publication record, the impact and novelty of their research, references, and the impact of their research within the department.
NDM Graduate Student Prize Winners 2018
- Reid Alderson - Overall Winner for his extensive publication record and innovative work using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy to provide atomic-level insight into both the structures and dynamics of biomolecules. Reid's research is focussed on understanding how proteins fold and how molecular chaperones prevent protein misfolding and aggregation, a process which could enable future therapeutics to be designed. Reid has 8 publications so far with another two that have been submitted. These include 5 first author papers in presigious journals such as .
- Marketa Tomkova- Highly Commended in Overall Category (Benjamin Schuster-Böckler and Skirmantas Kriaucionis, Ludwig) for her impressive number of publications (four first-author and four collaborative papers) and the profound impact of her work (demonstrating that intra-cellular processes like DNA methylation or DNA replication collectively influence the occurrence of mutations in healthy cells, eventually leading to cancer) on her field. These technical and conceptual advances are now being used by others around the world to understand how cancer arises in different tissue types.
- Eamon Byrne - Highly Commended in Overall Category (Christian Siebold, STRUBI) for his outstanding work on a highly challenging project -targeting the G-protein coupled receptor(GPCR) and Hedgehog morphogen signal transducer, using techniques not yet used in our division. This work led to a first author paper in Nature and Eamon is continuing to solve further structures and has co-authored several other publications.
Simon Davis - 2nd Year Prize Winner (Roman Fischer, TDI) for contributing crucial data to 2 publications in 2018 in high impact and specialist journals, co-authoring 2 papers as well as publishing a first-author paper, which was very well received in the proteomics community as it reports the deepest high-content proteome in a cell line so far. Simon has developed a new methodology to identify up to 4000 proteins from only 150 individual neurons after microdissection which has already allowed the first proteomic characterisation of Betz cells, giving exciting insight into the differential functions in comparison to other moto-neurons such as Purkinje cells.
- Fazle Chowdhury - 2nd Year Prize Winner (Susanna Dunachie, TropMed) for his excellent work, two oral conference presentations and four publications in peer-reviewed good impact journals. Fazle was the driver and first author for the first comprehensive review of all culture-confirmed melioidosis cases diagnosed so far in Bangladesh, this in the context of melioidosis not being recognised as a significant disease in this region.
- Lucy Walters - 3rd Year Prize Winner for recently publishing some of her research in a first author publication in Nature Communications. In this article she provided the first structural evidence that the non-classical MHC molecule, HLA-E, is capable of binding HIV and Mycobacteria tuberculosis derived epitopes for presentation to CD8+ T cells. Previously, it was thought that HLA-E exclusively bound a small set of MHC class Ia leader sequence derived peptides for presentation to NK cells. All previous structures of HLA-E were crystallised in complex with MHC class Ia derived signal peptides
- Linxin Li - 4th Year Prize Winner (Colin Goding, Ludwig) for being an outstanding student and publishing a first author Nature Communications paper despite being under heavy pressure from a competing lab. Linxin is also a third author on a paper just published in PNAS. In addition, he has also undertaken successfully a screen of 1600 FDA-approved drugs for those that that regulate a key gene implicated in cancer and neurodegeneration and so should have another first authorship paper and other work he has done is currently being followed up by a post-doc and will no doubt form the basis of another paper.
- Michael White - 4th Year Prize Winner for his commitment to translational research into Barrett’s oesophagus and oesophageal adenocarcinoma. His co-first author manuscript in nature communications investigating the development of Barrett’s oesophagus. He has collaberated with clinical departments and other groups in the NDM, and been involved in setting up a large clinical tissue bank. This work has lead to Co-authorship of 8 manuscripts from his DPhil so far.
- Jyothi Purushotham - Outstanding Work Outside of degree Prize Winner (Teresa Lambe, Jenner) for her work with co-founding and becoming the first president of People Oriented Development (POD), a global health capacity-building organisation which partners with local medical or public health institutions and relevant community stakeholders to co-create programmes to fill gaps in relevant knowledge and skills.
NDM Graduate Student Prize Winners 2017
- Michael Reschen - Overall Winner (Chris O'Callaghan, CCMP) for his work on identifying a novel molecular mechanism for a GWAS hit in atherosclerosis, so identifying a new inflammatory pathway of real therapeutic interest in this desease. His work also led to the identification of a transcriptional pathway not previously implicated in atherosclerosis. Michael's work has already led to multiple first author articles.
Read Michael's story
- Phelim Bradley - Highly Commended in Overall Category (Zamin Iqbal, WTCHG)
Phelim was highly commended for his work on algorithms for analysing clinical microbial genetic data. His Mykrobe predictor is currently being used by Public Health England. Phelim's software is used in the analysis of every tuberculosis case in England.
Read Phelim's story
- Janine Gray - Highly Commended (1st Year) (Paul Brennan, SGC) for her work so far on an ambitious DPhil project targeting the Ras superfamily of small GTPases in a novel manner via their effectors. She is also the only first year student asked to speak at the MSD DPhil day in July, winning second prize for her presentation.
Read Janine's story
- Zhiyuan Hu - 2nd Year Prize Winner (Christopher Yau, WTCHG) for her work on a 'side project' alongside her main DPhil studies. This side project was developed to assist Zhiyuan's bioinformatics skills and produced a computer algorithm and performed gene expression analysis to perform a pan-cancer analysis across The Cancer Genome Atlas.
Read Zhiyuan's story
- James Fielding - Highly Commended (2nd Year) (Tammie Bishop, NDMRB) for his work on elucidating the role of the HIF pathway in proliferation and tumorigenesis. James' current work involves manipulating the HIF2/PHD2 regulatory pathway to develop a mouse model of paraganglioma.
Read James' story
- Jeffrey Lienert - 3rd Year Prize Winner (Felix Reed-Tsochas, SBS) for his work on how human social interactions impact health through social networks. Jeffrey is using medical records and administrative data to understand the health effects of being simultaneously located in a hospital ward or room. Jeffrey's course means that he co-ordinates this project between Oxford and the National Institutes of Health in the USA.
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- Genevieve Martin - Highly Commended (3rd Year) (John Frater, ExpMed)for her work on T cell immunity and the HIV reservoir during primary HIV infection. Genevieve is exploring the relevance of T cell exhaustion to HIV cure strategies. During her DPhil she has presented her research at several international conferences and has published two first author publications.
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- Raquel Cuella-Martin - 4th Year Prize Winner (Ross Chapman, WTCHG) for her work on characterising the function of the p53 binding protein 1 (53BP1) using a complement of cell biology, mammalian genetics and biochemical approaches to tackle the problem.
- Emma Hodson - Outstanding Achievement Prize Winner (Tammie Bishop, NDMRB) for her excellent long distance running achievements alongside her research. Emma has won numerous races, including the Varsity Marathon (part of the London Marathon) and the Chiltern Chase 10k.
- Bipin Adhikari - Public Engagement Prize Winner (Phaik Yeong Cheah, TropMed) for championing science-based community activities in Bangkok, Thailand. He has helped to organise the Bangkok Scientific Cafe and science festival in the city. His research also focuses on community engagement and changing perceptions in health.
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Graduate Research Prize Winners 2016
- Emma Davenport (Julian Knight, WTCHG) for her excellent work on investigating the genetic determinants of variation in the human response to both common and rare infection, focusing on sepsis, influenza and common variable immunodeficiency disorders. Her work included the development of the largest established adult sepsis cohorts for functional genomic analysis.
Read Emma's story
- Symon Kariuki (Kevin Marsh, TropMed) for his work on the relationship between acute seizures and behavioural problems in tropical Africa. Symon undertook the largest survey of behaviour problems of children in Africa, screening 3,273 childen in Kilifi, Kenya. He also published 15 primary research papers (11 as first author) during his DPhil studies.
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- Sarah McCuaig (Fiona Powrie, Kennedy Institute) for her discovery of a novel driver in colorectal cancer and insight into its mechanism of action. Her work laid the foundation for a successful MRC Award and has resulted in the filing of a patent around this work. Sarah's overall contribution to the science, translatablilty of her work and public communication make her a worthy Prize winner.
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- Manuel Rivas (Peter Donnelly, WTCHG) for his research on the development of novel methods for the detection and interpretation of rare variant associations in complex diseases, and the application of those methods to large data sets. Manny's achievements included the development of several software programmes, collaborative involvement in over ten large-scale studies and contributory or main authorship in a number of papers.
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- Joshua Tan (Kevin Marsh, TropMed) for his excellent work on the identification of human monoclonal antibodies that bind to P. falciparum-infected erythrocytes. Joshua found a novel mechanism of antibody diversification which suggested target antigens that may be potential malaria vaccine candidates. His research in both Kilifi, Kenya and Bellizona, Switzerland has led to a first author paper in Nature which has received over 10,000 page views.
Read Joshua's story
Graduate Research Prize Winners 2015
- Tao-Hsin Chang (Yvonne Jones, STRUBI) for his committed and excellent work on Norrin-dependent Wnt/β-catenin signalling. Tao-Hsin's bold decision to work on what was widely considering to be a very challenging target yielded fruit: he developed novel methods for high level expression and purification of Norrin. His work has also been recently published in eLife and Nature.
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- Susanne Hodgson (Simon Draper, Jenner) for successfully undertaking the first controlled human malaria infection (CHMI) clinical trial in Kenya – the first attempt to use the CHMI model to understand naturally acquired immunity against malaria. Susanne has also produced five first author papers from her DPhil.
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- Nicole Stoesser (Tim Peto, ExpMed) for her work on antimicrobial resistance in both Oxford and South-East Asia. Nicole's work has shown the various transmission mediators of antimicrobial resistance in gram negative bacteria. Her work has been hugely collaborative, working with colleagues in Cambodia, Nepal and the USA. Nicole is currently expanding her DPhil work into other areas.
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- Melania Zauri (Skirmantas Kriaucionis, Ludwig) for her work on using epigenetics to fight cancer. Her work has opened up a new potential intervention for some cancers, including pancreatic cancers where the number of treatments lack effectiveness. Melania has also been involved in outreach events, promoting the Ludwig Institute and science more generally. Melania’s work has also recently been published in Nature.
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Graduate student profiles 2015
Prabin Dahal is a DPhil student in WWARN, a global collaboration of malaria researchers working to ensure that anyone affected by malaria receives effective and safe drug treatment. Prabin uses meta-analysis to amalgamate and review previous research, to investigate factors associated with poor treatment outcomes for patients treated with artemisinin based combination therapies.
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Graduate Research Prize Winners Autumn 2014
- Hani Choudhry (David Mole & Adrian Harris, CCMP) for his outstanding and impressive work in unlocking the complexity of hypoxia transcriptome of cancer cells as well as his excellent contribution as an ambassador for cancer research. His work has led to many publications and awards.
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- Joannah Fergusson (Paul Klenerman, ExpMed) for significant contributions to the field of immunology through her work on the expression of CD161 in T cells. Her work has led to publications in high-impact journals and she has made broader contributions through collaboration with other labs.
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- Eleanor Healey (Christian Siebold, Strubi) for her excellent work on the signalling mechanisms for Repulsive Guidance Molecules (RGMs). Her work has led to publications in high impact peer-reviewed journals.
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- Richard Maude (Lisa White, TropMed) for his impressive multi-disciplinary research on tropical medicine. The work for his DPhil made a dramatic impact on public health policy both in the South East Asian region and globally in terms of the emergency response to the threat of artemisinin resistant malaria and contributed to the decision to accelerate the elimination of falciparum malaria in Cambodia and surrounding countries.
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- Joel Meyer (Helen McShane, Jenner) for successfully leading the first ever human clinical trial of an aerosolised viral vector vaccine. His work has led publications in high-impact journals and also to the establishment of an enduring collaboration from which aerosol vaccine research has continued.
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- Daniel Puleston (Katja Simon, ExpMed) for his significant work on autophagy in the immune system, specifically with regards to restoring immune responses in elderly mice to levels observed in young animals. His impressive work has already been published in high-impact journals and gained attention from the mainstream media.
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- Anna Seale (Jay Berkley & Derrick Crook, TropMed) for her impressive work on Group B Streptococcus (GBS), using clinical epidemiological studies and genome sequences to further understanding of the burden and pathogenesis of GBS. The work has led to publications in high impact journals.
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- Casmir Turnquist (Xin Lu, Ludwig) for impressive contributions to the exploration of molecular links between cancer and neurodegenerative diseases. Part of her significant work has already been published in high impact journals.
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Graduate Research Prize Winners Spring 2014
Katherine Bull (Richard Cornall, CCMP) for developing a revolutionary and highly effective strategy for establishing causation in large scale mutagenesis. Her work is original and game-changing, and she has made broader contributions as a mentor to other students, and as an excellent collaborator and ambassador for NDM.
Read Katherine's story
Vipul Jairath (Simon Travis & Michael Murphy, ExpMed) for successfully leading a clinical trial which involved establishing cross disciplinary collaborations between several clinical specialty groups throughout the UK. His work has led to many publications in high impact peer-reviewed journals, as well as presentations nationally and internationally.
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Luca Tordella (Xin Lu, Ludwig) for significant contributions to the field of cancer research through his work on the tumour suppressor ASPP2. Part of his impressive work has already been published in high impact journals.
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- Timothy Walker (Tim Peto & Derrick Crook, ExpMed) for impressive research contributions on the M. tuberculosis theme and for establishing an international reputation as a leader in the field of TB whole genome sequencing. He has two first author papers in Lancet and his paper played a central role in the decision by Public Health England (via the Chief Medical Officer) to implement whole genome sequencing technology in routine practice in the UK this year.
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Graduate Research Prize Winners 2013
Luke Yates (Robert Gilbert, STRUBI) for extraordinary commitment and ability in his studies reflected in his output in terms of papers and in his contributions to the strategic development of the research group.
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- Adam Gregory (Lars Fugger, WIMM) for his outstanding and impressive body of work demonstrating that a multiple sclerosis-associated genetic variant in the TNF receptor 1 gene drives production of a novel TNF antagonist. Adam's DPhil studies culminated in his first author publication of this work in Nature, which was recommended by the Faculty of 1000 and has received positive media attention in the UK and internationally.
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Ally Olotu (Philip Bejon, Tropical Medicine) for his major contributions in describing the longevity of protection following vaccination, an interaction between intensity of exposure and vaccine efficacy, and examining correlates of protection. His ability to lead and execute research and his ability to collaborate and support have together led to a very substantial body of work.
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David Eyre (Tim Peto, ExpMed) for providing significant novel insights into the transmission of the important healthcare associated pathogen Clostridium difficile. During the course of his DPhil David published 12 first author publications.
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Jorge Zeron-Medina (Gareth Bond, Ludwig) for his DPhil work on single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the p53 signalling pathway which led to the discovery of a SNP in the KITLG gene that increases the risk of testicular cancer. His project’s importance is also reflected in the number of collaborations which it has stimulated, both internationally and within the university.
Read Jorge's story
Graduate Research Prize Winners 2012
- Abhilasha Karkey (Stephen Baker, Tropical Medicine) for her efforts to learn and study the epidemiology and transmission of typhoid fever with limited resources while based in Nepal. Her phenomenal will and drive has led to several novel and useful findings.
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- Aparna Pal (Anna Gloyn, OCDEM) for securing a number of prestigious prizes at the Diabetes UK Annual Professional Conference, and for her DPhil studies being published a first author manuscript in the New England Journal Of Medicine.
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- Christian Bell (Christian Siebold, Dave Stuart, Yvonne Jones, STRUBI) for his significant work on the “Structural studies of chemotaxis in prokaryotes and higher eukaryotes” which resulted in publications in high profile journals with two first author publications in PLos Biology and a co-author publication in Nature.
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- Johannes Schödel (David Mole, CCMP) for his outstanding work on defining pan-genomic patterns of HIF transcription factor binding and in linking these findings to GWAS signals of renal cancer susceptibility. His work has been published as first author in Blood and Nature genetics.
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- Owen Siggs (Richard Cornall, CCMP) for impressive first author publications, he is a most original and clear thinking student.
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- Tomas Malinauskas (Yvonne Jones, STRUBI) for his work structure/function analysis of the Wnt inhibitor WIF-1, as a result Tomas was sole first name author of a paper published in Nature Structural and Molecular Biology.
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- Matthew Rees (Mark McCarthy, Anna Gloyn OCDEM) for his very impressive body of work which has so far resulted in first author papers in The Journal of Clinical Investigation and Diabetologia. He was the winner of the 2010 Elsevier Prize. He has spent the last year back at NIH implementing a small molecule screen for GCK-GKRP interactions.
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- Mario Notari (Xin Lu, Ludwig Institute) for two important scientific discoveries; 1) the biological importance of iASPP, an evolutionarily conserved regulator of p53 family of proteins, in controlling epithelial stratification and 2) the role of iASPP in preventing cardio-cutaneous disorder.
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Graduate Research Prize Winners 2011
- Aleksandra Watson (Chris O’Callaghan, CCMP) for structural and functional analysis of the human platelet receptor CLEC-2, the snake venom toxin rhodocytin, and the dengue virus receptor MDL-1.
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- Charlotte Coles (Radu Aricescu and Yvonne Jones, STRUBI) for studies dissecting key cell surface signalling mechanisms involved in nerve regeneration, published in Science.
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- Nicola Beer (Anna Gloyn and Patrik Rorsman, OCDEM) for translating a genome-wide association signal associated with triglyceride and glucose levels into a molecular mechanism.
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- Ricardo Fernandes (Simon Davis, WIMM) for work on T cell receptor signalling and the roles of conformation change and phosphorylation in triggering T cell activation.
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Graduate Research Prize Winners 2010
- Najib Rahman (Robert Davies, Respiratory Medicine) for a clinical trial demonstrating the important benefits of tPA and DNase in the management of pleural infection and drainage, and for other significant advances in the diagnoses and treatment of pleural disease.
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- Andy Johnson (Richard Cornall, CCMP) for identifying the Themis superfamily and the role of Themis1 in T cell selection, published as a first author paper in Nature Immunology, and for work on DOCK8, also published in Nature Immunology.
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- Monika Mortensen (Christian Siebold, STRUBI) for her work identifying the essential role of autophagy in the maintenance of erythropoiesis.
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Graduate Research Prize Winners 2009
- Stanley Ng (Udo Oppermann, SGC) for solving the structure of a histone H3K9 and H3K36 demethylase and work leading to new understanding of DNA modification and epigenetics, published in Nature.
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- Giulia Zanetti (Stephen Fuller, STRUBI) for work using cryo-electron-tomography to solve the structure of the Simian Immunodeficiency Virus Envelope Complex and for outstanding technical advances in the field.
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- Benjamin Bishop (Christian Siebold, STRUBI) for work on structural and functional aspects of hedgehog ligands and their receptors.
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- Aleksandra Leligdowicz (Sarah Rowland-Jones, ExpMed) for ground-breaking work on immunity to HIV-2 in West Africa leading to new targets for effective vaccine design.
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Graduate Research Prize Winners 2008
- Thomas Bowden (Dave Stuart and Yvonne Jones, STRUBI) for work on virus host interactions leading to insights into how viruses migrate from animal to human hosts, and for solving the complex structure of the interaction between the Nipah and Hendra viruses and the human cell guidance molecule ephrin, published as a first author paper in Nature Structural and Molecular Biology.
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- Stephen Chapman (Adrian Hill) for studies on host susceptibility to bacteria in severe respiratory disease, described in a series of papers including two first author papers in Nature Genetics.
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- John James (Simon Davis, WIMM) for technical advances and paradigm shifting insights into the mechanisms of GPR and TCR signalling, with first author papers in Nature Methods and PNAS.
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- Emma Link (Sarah Parish and Rory Collins, CTSU) for the design and conduct of a trial with important implications for public health. She discovered that genetic variants in SLCO1B1 predict statin-induced myopathy, and has recently published these findings as a first author in NEJM. Read Emma's story
- Anastasia Nijnik (Richard Cornall, CCMP) for work describing the link between NHEJ, DNA repair and ageing in stem cells, published as a first-author article in Nature.
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- Sonja Vernes (Simon Fisher, WTCHG) for her study of the role of Foxp2 and its related pathways in the development of language, published in a series of papers including a first author article in NEJM.
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