State Research Prize goes to Tübingen researchers Handgretinger and Weigel
Top research is the pillar of the centre of business and science Baden-Württemberg, according to Minister Theresia Bauer.
Professor Rupert Handgretinger from the University Clinic for Pediatrics and Youth Medicine in Tübingen and Professor Detlef Weigel from the Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology in Tübingen received this years Baden Württemberg State Research Prize. Science Minister Theresia Bauer revealed this today in Stuttgart. The prize has a total value of 200,000 euros, which is awarded equally for top performances in fundamental research and applied research. The prize is to be awarded in an award ceremony on 6th July 2011 in the Festival Hall of the University of Tübingen.
The State Research Prize can look back on a history of more than 20 years - and always allows a glimpse into the future at the same time", said Science Minister Bauer. "The state awards research achievements that are given recognition throughout the world and are important milestones on the road to groundbreaking innovations. Baden-Württemburg has an enormous potential here - top research is and will and remain a pillar of the centre of business and science. I congratulate both prize winners on their outstanding achievements and am pleased that the prize money will promote further successes.
State Research Prize for Applied Research goes to Professor Rupert Handgretinger (University Clinic for Pediatrics and Youth Medicine, Tübingen)
Professor Rupert Handgretinger receives the State Research Prize for Applied Research. The so-called haploidentical stem cell transplantations, which were optimised by him, make it possible for parents also to be considered as stem cell donors for their children who are suffering from leukaemia. So that the donor cells with the non-identical characteristics do not produce any life-threatening rejection reactions in the recipient, Rupert Handgretinger has developed a method that removes incompatible cells from the transplant. Mortality and the relapse rate are significantly reduced. "The patient receives a new, healthy immune system, which discovers the tumour cells that have remained in spite of the chemotherapy and can eliminate them", said Handgretinger. The haploidentical transplantation is an ideal platform for further immunotherapeutical approaches, such as the vaccination of the parents with tumour-specific antigens before the removal of the stem cells.
State Research Prize for Fundamental Research goes to Professor Detlef Weigel (Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology, Tübingen)
Professor Detlef Weigel is awarded the State Research Prize for Fundamental Research. He is interested in the mechanisms of plant development, the basic principles of genetic diversity, and issues of evolution. With his methods, the functions of all the genes in the genome of plants can be investigated at the same time for the first time. In Tübingen, the first cross-species plan of the variations in the genetic make-up of a plant is created. Thus, Weigel researches the genetic influence on the adaptation of plants to the environment. "When we know what contribution the gene makes to the variety in a species, we can predict the reactions of plants to changes in the environment," says Weigel. With the new methods, individual genes with known properties can also be transferred from one plant to another, without the remainder of the genetic make-up being altered.
With the State Research Prize, the state of Baden-Württemberg recognizes excellent academic achievements from all disciplines every year. As the largest research prize awarded by a Federal State, 100,000 euros are awarded to a researcher from fundamental research and to an academic from applied research. The prize money gives the prize winners the opportunity to implement a research project of their choice.
Work by faculties of universities, universities of applied sciences, non-university research institutions, academic organisations and the members of the selection committee is proposed. An interdisciplinary jury, which consists of respected academics, makes the decision about awarding the Research Prize. The Ministry for Science, Research and the Arts announces the Research Prize each year.
Source: Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts