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2008 Nycomed Award goes to three natural scientists

Dr. Pitter Huesgen, Dr. Michael Strerath and Dr. Carl Kübler from the University of Constance have been awarded this year’s Nycomed Award.

With the 2008 Nycomed Award, the company is acting on its announced intention made at the time of its acquisition of Altana Pharma AG in 2007. Into its 35th year, the Award, which is worth a total of €15,000, once again distinguishes outstanding doctoral theses in the fields of biology, chemistry and physics. Dr. Anders Ullmann, Nycomed’s Executive Vice President Research and Development, along with Prof. Gerhart von Graevenitz, Rector of the University of Constance, congratulated the winners on their achievements. Von Graevenitz also expressed his “pleasure at having Nycomed as a strong partner, one that appreciates research achievements of this kind”.

The prizewinners and their research:

Pitter Huesgen (Faculty of Biology) carried out investigations into the Deg and GCP proteases of photosynthetic organisms – both in higher plants and in bacteria. Proteases play an essential role in photosynthetic processes. The biologist, who did his doctoral degree in the laboratory of Prof. Iwona Adamska, succeeded in identifying 16 Deg proteases. His research has contributed important new insights into the function of the protease families that he has examined and is an excellent basis for further work on new aspects.

Michael Strerath (Faculty of Chemistry) succeeded in gaining a more detailed understanding of the mechanisms of DNA polymerase selectivity and putting it to good use for diagnostic purposes. In addition, he simulated the evolutionary processes and synthesised the proteins in a reaction tube. He also managed to increase the selectivity of the synthesised proteins through specific mutations. Michael Strerath, under the supervision of Prof. Andreas Marx, has thus laid a foundation stone for the development of improved gene diagnostics methods.

Dr. Carl Kübler (Faculty of Physics) with the results from his doctorate in the laboratory of Prof. Alfred Leitenstorfer, has come up with findings that have a significance for worldwide research. The electron system in materials with strongly correlated electrons is far more complex than that of normal metals and semiconductors. In order to better understand the microscopic causes of these phenomena, Kübler further developed the technology of femtosecond light impulses. He worked with individual light oscillations in the infrared light spectrum, which last just a one-hundred-thousandth part of a billionth of a second.

Source: uni'kon 32/08 (P) 7 November 2008
Website address: https://www.gesundheitsindustrie-bw.de/en/article/press-release/2008-nycomed-award-goes-to-three-natural-scientists