The ASciNA awards 2009 were given out in two categories: students and postdocs were invited to submit in the "Young Scientists Award" category, and a "Junior Principal Investigator Award" was given to scientists who were more advanced in their careers and leading their own research group (Junior Faculty). Scientists from all research fields were invited to submit applications. An independent jury of renowned international scientists, nominated by the Austrian Research Fund (FWF ), reviewed the submissions and selected the awardees. For the 2009 awards, the jury received submissions from 38 scientists from across North America. Due to the high quality of submitted papers in the "Junior PI" category, the jury decided to award this prize to two scientists.
Gerlinde Wernig, M.D., received the "Young Scientists Award." Dr. Wernig is a fellow at the Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, Stanford University Medical School, Stanford, California, where her research focuses on the development of therapies for leukemias. After receiving her M.D. from the University of Vienna in 1999, Dr. Wernig started her clinical training in internal medicine at the University of Bonn. After completing her residency program, Dr. Wernig joined the Division of Internal Medicine at Harvard Medical School as a research fellow, where she started to work on an animal model of leukemia for testing potential therapies. Dr. Wernig moved to the US west coast in the fall of 2008, where she started her second residency program in pathology at Stanford's Medical School.
Title of publication: "Efficacy of TG101348, a Selective JAK2 Inhibitor, in Treatment of a Murine Model of JAK2V617F-Induced Polycythemia Vera"
Journal: Cancer Cell 13, 1-10, April 2008
Peter Winzer, Ph.D., was awarded the "Junior PI Award" for his publication on high-bandwidth data transmission. Dr. Winzer received his Dipl. Ing. and Dr. techn. degrees from the Vienna University of Technology, where he was furthermore awarded the venia docendi (Univ. Doz.). In 2000 Dr. Winzer moved across the Atlantic to join the world-renowned Bell Labs in Holmdel, New Jersey. At this laboratory, which 13 Nobel laureates call their workplace, Dr. Winzer rose to become a "Distinguished Member of Technical Staff" and works on fiber-optic data transmission. His publication list contains more than 150 original articles, including his recent paper on the first 100-Gigabit/sec field trial, which received the ASciNA Junior PI award 2009.
Title of publication: "100-Gb/s DQPSK Transmission: From Laboratory Experiments to Field Trials"
Journal: Journal of Lightwave Technology, Vol. 26, No. 20, October 15, 2008
The second "Junior PI Award" was received by Martin Hetzer, Ph.D., for his publication on processes involved in aging that affect cell nuclei. Dr. Hetzer received his training, including a Ph.D. with honors, at the University of Vienna, where he graduated under Prof. Rudolf Schweyen in 1997. After several years of experience as a postdoc at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg, Dr. Hetzer joined the Salk Laboratories in La Jolla, California, in 2004. He received an associate professorship in 2009 and is leader of a research group exploring cellular processes of aging, with specific emphasis on degenerative diseases of the central nervous system such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease. Before receiving the ASciNA award in 2009, Dr. Hetzer won several research awards such as an Erwin-Schroedinger fellowship, an APART prize, as well as the highly competitive Hearst Endowment.
Title of publication: "Age-Dependent Deterioration of Nuclear Pore Complexes Causes a Loss of Nuclear Integrity in Postmitotic Cells"
Journal: Cell 136, 284-295, January 23, 2009.
The 2008 awardees were Franziska Michor, molecular biologist and mathematician at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, and Stefan Dollinger, linguist at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver. For further information on the ASciNA Award and how to participate in the ASciNA Award 2010, please visit the web site of the Austrian Scientists and Scholars in North America at: http://ascina.at .
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