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Eshelman Innovation

Eshelman Innovation Announces 2023 Rankin Innovator Acceleration Award Recipients

Headshots of Breanna Mann and Ashlyn Elliott

The Eshelman Innovation Rankin Innovator Acceleration Award, supported by Lawson and Gisele Rankin, is given annually to provide graduate students and Post Docs with funding to pursue entrepreneurial training opportunities.

Each recipient will receive $5,000 to support their participation in entrepreneurism and business training opportunities. The award is funded by The Lawson and Gisele Rankin Endowment and is currently matched with an annual gift.

The 2023 recipients of this award are Breanna Mann and Ashlyn Elliott.

Breanna Mann is a Ph.D. candidate at the Eshelman School of Pharmacy in the Department of Pharmacoengineering and Molecular Pharmaceutics. About receiving the award, Mann stated, “I am incredibly thankful to receive the Rankin Innovator Acceleration Award. I look forward to being able to expand my entrepreneurial skill set and focus on professional development. This award will enable me to build connections in the local area and gain a better understanding of how science is translated in the industry.”

Ashlyn Elliott is a second-year Pharm.D. candidate at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy. Elliott mentioned, “I am honored to receive this award as it will help me continue to find ways to improve the process of pre-clinical and clinical development of early-stage compounds into life-changing therapeutics.”

“The Rankin Innovator Acceleration Award underscores the importance of supporting our emerging leaders in health care. We are so thankful to have the support of the Rankin family, who truly understands the importance of translating scientific innovation into products that benefit patients around the world,” said John Bamforth, Director of the Eshelman Innovation.

If you are interested in learning more about the Rankin Innovator Acceleration Award, please email

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