In March, the Grand Prize Winner and the three finalists of the 2017 Sartorius & Science Prize for Regenerative Medicine & Cell Therapy were ceremoniously presented with their awards during the Research Xchange Forum in Trends and Challenges on Regenerative Medicine & Cell Therapy.
Now, it is time to start the search for new outstanding scientists and their groundbreaking research to be honored with the 2018 Prize. The work of the applicants will be assessed and evaluated by an experienced panel of experts drawn together by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and Science Journals.
Are you a representative of the upcoming generation of thought leaders in your field? Then, go ahead and use this exciting opportunity to introduce yourself and your pioneering research to the world! Together we look forward to receiving your application for the 2018Sartorius & Science Prize in Regenerative Medicine and Cell Therapy.
The Sartorius & Science Prize for Regenerative Medicine & Cell Therapy is an annual prize aimed at supporting and encouraging scientists focused on basic or translational research that advances medical progress in regenerative medicine and cell therapy. Established in 2017, the prize is awarded for outstanding research performed by the applicant and as a mutual endeavor to raise awareness for the field and its fundamental significance for our future.
The winner of the Sartorius & Science Prize for Regenerative Medicine & Cell Therapy is awarded US$25,000 and a publication of his or her essay in Science. This Grand Prize essay and those of up to three runners-up are also published on Science Online. The winner and the runners-up will be invited to attend the formal award ceremony. Furthermore, a 5-year AAAS membership and online subscription to Science, accompanied by other perks and benefits from Sartorius, are awarded!
Entries can be made in the fields of regenerative medicine, cell therapy, gene therapy, immunotherapy as well as materials and tissue engineering.
Every individual scientist who received his or her PhD|MD within the past 10 years may apply.
Please submit a 1,000-word essay describing your research and its implications for regenerative medicine and cell immunotherapy as well as supporting documents.
April 1st until October 1st 2018
Kole is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of California, San Francisco, a member of the Parker Institute for Immunotherapy, and a Chan Zuckerberg Biohub Investigator. His lab harnesses the tools of synthetic and chemical biology to engineer the immune cells therapies for cancer and autoimmunity of the future. Roybal received his doctorate in Molecular Immunology from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. There he studied the fundamental cellular and biochemical mechanisms required for immune cell activation and clearance of infections. While a Jane Coffin Childs Postdoctoral Fellow in Wendell Lim’s lab at the University of California, San Francisco, he developed a new class of synthetic receptors called synthetic Notch receptors, which provide unprecedented customization of therapeutic cells for the treatment of a broad range of diseases.
The ability to customize and shape the activity of therapeutic cells could dramatically improve the safety and efficacy of cellular therapies for cancer, autoimmunity, and regenerative medicine. Given this, we have recently developed a novel class of synthetic receptors called synthetic Notch (synNotch) receptors that directly induce a custom transcriptional response when they recognize disease or tissue-related cues. SynNotch receptors are remarkably effective for precise control over the therapeutic activity of immune cells such as T cells. SynNotch T cells are capable of enhanced recognition of diseased tissues and localized therapeutic action that goes beyond what is naturally achieved by the immune system. SynNotch receptor circuits are, therefore, a versatile platform to program precision cellular therapies for a broad range of diseases.
Prize: US $ 25,000 + publication in Science Print and Online
Shruti received her B.S. in Cell and Molecular Biology from the University of Maryland and her Ph.D. in Immunology from the University of Pennsylvania-National Institutes of Health Graduate Partnership Program. Here she discovered that normal bacteria living on our skin, known as the commensal microbiota, educate the immune system and help protect us from harmful pathogens. Her work unveiled how immune cells work with our microbial partners to prevent disease and has opened the door for microbiota-based therapies in the skin. Naik is currently a Damon Runyon Cancer Research Fellow at the Rockefeller University. She is studying the interactions between immune cells and stem cells in an effort to develop stem cell based therapies for inflammatory disorders. She is also a strong advocate for women in science, a member of Women in Science at Rockefeller and mentors female trainees in the laboratory.
The body’s epithelial barriers, including the skin, lung, and intestine are routinely exposed to damage causing pathogenic and noxious agents. Yet, our understanding of how barrier tissues cope with such recurrent pressures is limited. Naik found that the fundamental units of epithelial tissues, their stem cells, remember acute inflammatory encounters. This memory of inflammation is encoded at the level of chromatin within epithelial stem cells and endows them with the ability to respond faster to subsequent stressors such as wounding. Thus, epithelia learn from and adapt to environmental stress signals for the sake of tissue fitness and function. These findings reveal that inflammatory memory is not a unique feature of immune cells but also extends to long-lived epithelial stem cells. Such an understanding of inflammatory memory has important implications for the use of stem cell based therapies to treat inflammatory epithelial diseases, chronic wounds, and cancers.
Prize: US $ 5,000 + publication in Science Online
Fotios graduated from the University Of Athens in Greece with a degree in Medicine, before relocating to the United Kingdom to continue his specialty training as a hepatologist and obtain a PhD in Stem Cell biology from the University of Cambridge. During his doctoral research he pioneered the use of bile duct organoids to model diseases of the biliary system, test multiple drugs and identify novel therapeutic agents. Currently, Fotios continues his research at the interface between basic science and clinical medicine as a Clinical Lecturer in Hepatology in the University of Cambridge with clinical commitments in Addenbrooke’s hospital. His scientific work focuses on combining organoids, bioengineering and animal studies to regenerate damaged bile ducts in the liver as an alternative therapy to liver transplantation.
Bile duct disorders carry significant morbidity and mortality and remain a leading cause for liver transplantation in children and adults. Despite their impact, these disorders remain poorly understood with minimal treatment options, due to the lack of appropriate model systems to study their pathogenesis and screen for new drugs. Fotios contributed to overcoming this challenge by inventing a system for culturing bile duct organoids which reproduced key features of various biliary diseases in the lab. The value of these organoids for developing new therapies became apparent when he tested multiple compounds and managed to identify a therapeutic agent which could be used as a new treatment for Cystic Fibrosis biliary disease. Furthermore, Fotios used organoids from healthy individuals and bio-degradable scaffolds to engineer human bio-artificial bile ducts in the lab. He then transplanted these engineered organs in animal models and demonstrated that they could successfully replace terminally damaged bile ducts in cases not amenable to pharmacological treatment. Fotios’ work has significant implications for the use of organoids in organ engineering and constitutes one of the first examples for the application of regenerative medicine in the context of biliary disorders.
Prize: US $ 5,000 + publication in Science Online
As an undergraduate, Will studied Biology at Tufts University, before going on to attain a Ph.D. at MIT within the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology. Will’s undergraduate research focused on studying the neurons of the hearing and balance organs of the inner ear. While at MIT, his doctoral research elucidated the distinct progenitor cell types that exist within inner ear and their capacity to form sensory cells and neural cell types. As a postdoctoral researcher at Harvard Medical School, Will’s research investigated the use of small molecule drugs to manipulate signaling pathways to enable otherwise senescent progenitor cells of the cochlea to divide and form new sensory cells. Will is currently the Vice President of Biology and Regenerative Medicine at Frequency Therapeutics, a company he co-founded with Bob Langer and Jeff Karp. Frequency is currently utilizing insights from Will’s previous work to develop a drug to treat hearing loss by regenerating lost sensory cells.
Over 360 million people (5% of the population) experience hearing impairment, which is largely caused by the loss of specialized inner ear sensory cells from noise exposure, medications, and other environmental factors. Currently, only devices such as hearing aids and cochlear implants exist to treat these patients, both of which do not restore the underlying biological deficit that causes the disease. Will’s initial research identified a new progenitor cell type within the inner ear, and showed that separate populations of progenitors can generate hearing, balance, and neural cell types. Although these progenitor cells are present within the inner ear after development, they are largely incapable of repairing damaged tissue. Using insights garnered from the intestine’s innate regenerative ability, Will’s work demonstrated that a drug combination could induce the normally senescent cochlear hair cell progenitors to divide by reprogramming them to a more plastic state. These progenitor cells could be subsequently converted into nearly pure populations of hair cells. From this initial discovery with single cells, Will found that treating damaged cochleae with these molecules could induce progenitor cells to divide and regenerate lost hair cells in situ. When applied in vivo, these compounds increase hair cell numbers and elicit a functional hearing improvement in animals with hearing loss. Based on these results, Frequency Therapeutics has expanded development of these compounds for human use and recently initiated Phase I clinical safety trials
Prize: US $ 5,000 + publication in Science Online
On March 20, 2018, in the Adam-von-Trott-Saal, the banquet hall of the University of Goettingen, Germany, Prof. Dr. Beisiegel, President of the Georg-August-Universität Goettingen, together with Gerry MacKay, Executive Vice President and member of the Group Executive Committee from Sartorius, and Bill Moran, Publisher of the Science Family of Journals, officially opened the festive event.
This inaugural ceremony was held to honor and celebrate the achievements of four well-deserved researchers who competed for the annual Sartorius & Science Prize for Regenerative Medicine & Cell Therapy, awarded for the first time in 2018.
In the presence of 100 applauding guests, including representatives from industry and academic research from as many as 14 countries who also attended the 2nd Research Xchange Forum hosted in Göttingen, Dr. Priscilla N. Kelly, Editor of Biomedicine, Science (AAAS), and Karen Storm, Vice President of Marketing of the Lab Products & Services Division at Sartorius ceremoniously presented this prestigious award to the Grand Prize Winner and the three finalists.
Congratulations to the winners and a big thanks to all participants for making this award ceremony a very memorable event.
The Sartorius Group is a leading international pharmaceutical and laboratory equipment provider with two divisions: Bioprocess Solutions (BPS) and Lab Products & Services (LPS).
Biopharmaceuticals are manufactured using living cells in complex, lengthy and expensive procedures. BPS focuses on single-use solutions which help customers produce biotech medications and vaccines safely and efficiently. In fact, Sartorius has been pioneering and setting the standard for single-use products which are extensively used in all biopharmaceutical manufacturing processes.
Backed by an extensive offering of premium laboratory instruments, consumables and services, the LPS division concentrates on serving the needs of laboratories in life science research, both in industry and academic institutes. Through recent strategic acquisitions, the portfolio was further enhanced with bioanalytical platforms to support the emerging needs and complexities of the regenerative medicine and cell therapy industries. New innovative bioanalytical tools help scientists find faster answers to fundamental and complex biological questions in drug discovery applications, complemented by end-to-end production platforms for cell expansion and harvesting, and the crucial safety aspects of quality control.
Founded in 1870, Sartorius earned sales revenue of more than 1.4 billion euros in 2017. Approximately 7,500 people work at the Group’s 50 manufacturing and sales sites, serving customers around the globe.
The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is the world's largest general scientific society, and publisher of the journals, Science, Science Translational Medicine, Science Signaling, Science Advances, Science Immunology, and Science Robotics. AAAS was founded in 1848, and includes some 254 affiliated societies and academies of science, serving 10 million individuals. Science, founded by Thomas Edison, has the largest paid circulation of any peer-reviewed general science journal in the world, with an estimated total readership of more than 400,000.
The non-profit AAAS — www.aaas.org — is open to all and fulfills its mission to "advance science and serve society" through initiatives in science policy, international programs, science education, and more. Science's daily online news is always free to the public, as are editorials, any paper with broad public health significance, and all research articles 12 months after publication. Science further participates in various efforts to provide free access for scientists in the world's poorest countries.