Langener Nachwuchswissenschaftspreis (Langen Prize for Junior Scientists) 2018 awarded for biomedical research
The Paul-Ehrlich-Institut (PEI) and the Verein zur Förderung des Langener Wissenschaftspreises (Association for the Promotion of the Langen Science Prize) have awarded the Langen Prize for Junior Scientists for the seventh time. Three young scientists convinced the jury of their excellent research performance in biomedicine. Dr Stefan Schülke (35) ranks first and receives prize money in the amount of 1,000 Euro, Dr Alexander Muik (35) ranks second with 600 Euro and Dr Julia Uebele (29) third with 400 Euro.
In the presence of Professor Löwer, chairman of the Association for the Promotion of the Langen Science Prize and Professor Cichutek, president of the PEI, the mayor of Langen, Frieder Gebhardt, handed the certificates over to this year’s prize winners.
"It has become a firm and very fine tradition to support young and talented scientists from the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut with the Langen Prize for Junior Scientists on their further career path. Together with the Association for the Promotion of the Langen Science Prize, we award this prize for the seventh time today", said mayor Gebhardt during the award presentation. Mr Gebhardt pointed out the significance of this prize for the entire region, for which the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut as training site for research and teaching provides a stepping stone for junior scientists. Mr Gebhardt especially thanked the Sparkasse Langen-Seligenstadt for funding this important prize once again.
All research work for which a prize was awarded is in direct connection with the tasks of the PEI as the Federal Institute for Vaccines and Biomedicines, which performs research. As the president of the institute, Professor Cichutek expresses it:
"The testing of medicines and research are closely interwoven at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut. Today’s prize winners present a very good example for this. Their work provides important ideas for the development and testing of biomedicines".
Dr Stefan Schülke is the first author of the publication “Critical role of mammalian target of rapamycin for IL-10 dendritic cell induction by a flagellin A conjugate in preventing allergic sensitization”, published in the "Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology". The results of this paper are an important step towards a better understanding of the complex mode of action of vaccine candidates against allergies, and they may support these developments.
Being the first author of the publication, "Covalent coupling of high-affinity ligands to the surface of viral vector particles by protein trans-splicing mediates cell type-specific gene transfer", Dr Alexander Muik developed a new method, which brings with it a high innovative potential for research in the field of developing advanced biomedicines. The applications of this method can be found both in the area of gene therapy and the development of new vaccines. The paper was published in the Journal "Biomaterials".
Dr Julia Uebele is the first author of the publication "Antigen delivery to dendritic cells shapes human CD4+ and CD8+ T cell memory responses to Staphylococcus aureus", which was published in the journal "PLOS Pathogens". In her paper, she analyses the role of the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus. Due to frequent resistance development against many antibiotics, it is a feared pathogenic agent (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus), especially in hospital infections. Mrs Uebele’s paper shows aspects and approaches that could become very important for the development of a potent vaccine against S. aureus.
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The Paul-Ehrlich-Institut, the Federal Institute for Vaccines and Biomedicines, in Langen near Frankfurt/Main is a senior federal authority reporting to the Federal Ministry of Health (Bundesministerium für Gesundheit, BMG). It is responsible for the research, assessment, and marketing authorisation of biomedicines for human use and immunological veterinary medicinal products. Its remit also includes the authorisation of clinical trials and pharmacovigilance, i.e. recording and evaluation of potential adverse effects.
Other duties of the institute include official batch control, scientific advice and inspections. In-house experimental research in the field of biomedicines and life science form an indispensable basis for the manifold tasks performed at the institute.
The Paul-Ehrlich-Institut, with its roughly 800 members of staff, also has advisory functions nationally (federal government, federal states (Länder)), and internationally (World Health Organisation, European Medicines Agency, European Commission, Council of Europe etc.).