CIPSM-Researchers Stephan Sieber and Thomas Böttcher win the Innovation award 2008 of the BioRegions in Germany
published on 14.10.2008
The winners of the second ever Innovation Award of the German BioRegions were announced on the 7th October – Thomas Böttcher together with Dr. Stephan Sieber from CIPSM were awarded joint prizes by Director General from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research together with Dr. Heinz Bettmann, BioCologne e.V. representing this year’s sponsors. The ceremony took place as a highlight of the Biopolitics Conference. This conference is part of the programme for this year’s BIOTECHNICA, the leading fair for European biotechnology in Hanover. After the award ceremony, the winners presented their research projects to the specialist audience at the Innovation Forum. The Innovation Award pays tribute to outstanding patents from the life sciences with high innovation and market potential. This year, the award went to projects from the areas of molecular cell differentiation, chemical microbiology, and malaria research. “Technology transfer is one of the bioregions’ main tasks. Not only do we aim to draw attention to particularly exciting projects, but we also aim to support their implementation with our Innovation Award,” said Dr. Kai Uwe Bindseil, head of BioTOP Berlin-Brandenburg and spokesman of the BioRegions working group. This year, individual scientists and research groups from all over Germany have submitted their proposals. “We were impressed by the quality and diversity of the projects. This is a good sign and reflects the high level of research”, said Dr. Erika Sahrhage of BIO-OWL e.V, who also spoke on behalf of Uwe Seidel of BioIndustry e.V. Sahrhage and Seidel were the coordinators of this year’s Innovation Award. Financial support for the Innovation Award was provided by Deutsche Messe AG, BioCologne e.V., and Grund Intellectual Property Group in Munich. Thomas Böttcher is working on his PhD in Dr. Stephan Sieber’s lab at CIPSM in Munich in the area of chemical microbiology. Within the framework of his PhD thesis, he developed a technique to identify cellular targets of beta-lactones in bacteria in order to investigate molecular mechanisms of action. A key regulator of the virulence of pathogenic bacteria was found, which is decisive not for the survival but rather for their pathogenic impact of the bacteria. The Innovation Award pays tribute to the work of both researchers, which has demonstrated that beta-lactones are a potentially promising starting point for tailor-made therapies aiming to treat diseases and their pathogens which are resistant to conventional antibiotics.