PSU biology faculty win BioMed Central Researcher Award
Author: Rebecca Fairbairn, BioMed Central
Posted: April 22, 2013

BioMed Central announces winner of 7th Annual Research Awards

(April 22, 2013) — Open access publisher BioMed Central revealed the winner of its 7th Annual Research Awards at a presentation last night in Boston, MA. The awards honour the very best research published in one of BioMed Central’s 250 plus open access journals in 2012.

The winners of the prestigious BioMed Central Research Award, supported by, were selected from a shortlist consisting of the winners of the ten subject categories. Kenneth M. Stedman, an associate professor of biology at Portland State University, and his doctoral student Geoffrey S. Diemer, won the award for their article "A novel virus genome discovered in an extreme environment suggests recombination between unrelated groups of RNA and DNA viruses," which was published in Biology Direct.

The article won accolades not only for the method used to uncover the virus, but for its biological insights into the novel viral genome. It makes a significant contribution to our understanding of viruses and has implications well outside the immediate finding.

“We’re extremely honored at this award considering all of the wonderful research that is being published at BioMed Central, and particularly pleased to be able to accept this award at the 10th anniversary at BMC Biology, which is a celebration of open access and the accessibility of great science to the public," said Stedman. "This prize is a great affirmation of the internationally leading scientific research that we are undertaking at Portland State University and the Center for Life in Extreme Environments."

Laurence Hurst, Professor of Evolutionary Genetics at the University of Bath UK summarized why the judges felt that the article should be the winner: “We felt this was a truly exciting paper, because they have shown for the first time using a metagenomic approach, that there is evidence for a novel viral genome best explained as a result of recombination between RNA and DNA viruses. The paper clearly opens up new avenues in viral research, not least because the mechanism by which the interviral RNA-DNA recombination occurs has yet to be discovered.”

Andreas Kessell, co-founder of, explains, “At antibodies-online we accelerate research. We interact with the research community every day and are happy to sponsor the BioMed Central Overall Research Award winner 2012. The annual BioMed Central Research Awards are an excellent way to recognize and honor outstanding research published throughout the previous year. antibodies-online thanks all participants in advancing research for a better life and compliments this year's winners Geoffrey S. Diemer and Kenneth M. Stedman on the BioMed Central Overall Research Award.”

The awards were commemorated as part of an evening celebrating BioMed Central and open access, including the tenth anniversary of the initial publication of BMC Biology, the flagship biology journal of BioMed Central, and the launch of the new medical and biology online magazine Biome. The evening also included a panel discussion on the hotly-debated topic of how to avoid the 'tyranny' of current peer review practices, which was fitting since Biology Direct, which published the award-winning article, has pioneered a novel form of peer review.

The winners were selected by a panel of top scientists and clinicians picked from the editorial boards of BioMed Central’s portfolio of over 250 journals, which has published over 150,000 peer-reviewed open access articles to date.

Deborah Kahn, Publishing Director of BioMed Central, said: “I would like to thank our fantastic panel of judges and to congratulate the deserving winners of the 7th Annual BioMed Central Research Award for their outstanding achievements. We would also like to thank our new partners for their support."

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Media Contacts
Rebecca Fairbairn

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Patrik von Glasow
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BioMed Central ( is an STM (Science, Technology and Medicine) publisher, which has pioneered the open access publishing model. All peer-reviewed research articles published by BioMed Central are made immediately and freely accessible online, and are licensed to allow redistribution and reuse. BioMed Central is part of Springer Science+Business Media, a leading global publisher in the STM sector.

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