"Oscar of Pharmacy"

Work by DZL-PI Olivia Merkel on therapies for asthma awarded with PHOENIX Science Prize
[Translate to Englisch:] Olivia Merkel mit Phoenix-Preis

With the Pharmacy Science Award, the pharmaceutical wholesaler PHOENIX honours innovative and outstanding work in pharmaceutical research. The prize is endowed with a total of 40,000 €. Researchers from Germany, Austria and Switzerland submit their contributions in four categories. An independent jury headed by Professor Dr. Jörg Kreuter, Goethe University Frankfurt, reviews the submitted papers and awards the prizes in the categories.

This year, DZL-PI Prof. Olivia Merkel from LMU Munich was awarded in the field of Pharmaceutical Technology. Her award-winning publication: "Coming in and Finding Out: Blending Receptor-Targeted Delivery and Efficient Endosomal Escape in a Novel Bio-Responsive siRNA Delivery System for Gene Knockdown in Pulmonary T Cells". The award-winning work deals with the selective silencing of disease-related genes in specific cell types. However, there are still many hurdles in implementing this in clinical routine, such as the lack of suitable delivery systems to silence these genes. Olivia Merkel's research team has now developed a novel delivery system.

The ultimate goal are better asthma therapies that fight the cause of the disease and not just the symptoms. In addition, the results also have great significance for T-cell therapies in other disease areas as well.

Instead of an award ceremony at a gala, this year the prize was presented to the scientists in a small setting at the universities. A camera team accompanied the award ceremony in Munich. The resulting film offers insights into the award winner's research.