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Dr. Herbert Stolzenberg Publication Award for the Life Sciences

After receiving 5 excellent applications from GGL members and alumni, we are happy to announce that we were able to award the Dr. Herbert Stolzenberg Publication Award for Research in the Life Sciences at our Graduation Ceremony on 28 November 2023 to two young scientists.

The awardees are Rebecca Classen, PhD, German Centre for Neurodegenerative Research, and Laura Rehneke, Institute of Phytopathology, Justus Liebig University Giessen. Our warmest congratulations!

Rebecca Classen receives the Dr Herbert Stolzenberg Publication Award in recognition of her outstanding publication "Atropine-functionalized gold nanoparticles binding to muscarinic receptors after passage across the intestinal epithelium".

Her publication was selected for the Dr. Herbert Stolzenberg Award because it addressed a highly innovative field of research, the testing of biofunctionalized gold nanoparticles. These nanoparticles are novel drug carriers that can positively influence the biological availability and activity due to multivalent actions on receptors. In an interdisciplinary collaboration with the Institute of Inorganic Chemistry at the University of Cologne, Rebecca Claßen investigated the absorption and effect of biofunctionalized gold nanoparticles in the intestine. Her results, especially concerning the effectiveness of different nanoparticle sizes increased the understanding of how biofunctionalized gold nanoparticle behave during and after absorption. These results contribute to the development of a new generation of medications.

Laura Rehneke particularly convinced us with her publication "Symbiont-host interactome mapping reveals effector-targeted modulation of hormone networks and activation of growth promotion". She submitted this impressive publication together with two other first authors. This research investigates how symbionts interact with plants to improve their fitness, nutrient supply and resistance to environmental stress. New findings in this field are particularly relevant for society because agricultural crops are exposed to increasing stress under the conditions of climate change and at the same time have to become more efficient in order to achieve food security and sustainability. The publication combines bioinformatics, microbiology and genetics, generating a wealth of new insights into the decoding of hormone networks in plants. This extraordinary amount of new findings ultimately convinced the jury that Laura Rehneke deserves the Dr. Herbert Stolzenberg Publication Award, even though she is one of three first authors, because her contribution equals a conventional first author publication.

The awardees were honoured by Matthias Kamps (Commerzbank AG), representative of the Executive Board of the Dr. Herbert Stolzenberg Foundation, and Prof. Dr. Eveline Baumgart-Vogt, Director of the GGL during the recent welcome and graduation ceremony of the GGL.