Dr. Christoph Mårtensson received the prize for his dissertation with the title “Control mechanisms of mitochondrial biogenesis”. The work was performed in the years 2014-2019 in the lab of PD Dr. Thomas Becker and Prof. Nikolaus Pfanner at the Albert Ludwigs University Freiburg. Christoph Mårtensson discovered a novel quality control mechanism (mito TAD), which removes jammed nuclear encoded precursors from the mitochondrial import channel. Defects in mitochondrial protein import are considered to cause certain neurodegenerative diseases. Thus, his findings could contribute to an improved understanding of the molecular processes leading to these diseases. Since January 2020, Christoph Mårtensson works at the company MTIP, a Venture Capital Company in Basel, which invests in start-up firms with a focus on IT-based drug development..
Dr. Lukas Reisky obtained the prize for his PhD work with the title “Discovery and Characterization of Novel Carbohydrate-Active Enzymes from Marine Bacteria”. One of his projects centered on the enzymatic cleavage of ulvan, a polysaccharide from alga. Lukas Reisky also identified the biological functions of P450 mono-oxygenases, which mark algal polysaccharides via demethylation for degradation. His results were obtained in the lab of Prof. Uwe Bornschauer in Greifswald and published in seven articles, four of which with Lukas Reisky as first author. Lukas Reisky works since 2019 at the company Covestro in the field of enzyme technology.
Luca Schulz was awarded with the prize for his master work with the title “Optimizing the reverse beta-oxidation pathway by cell-free pathway prototyping”. His results widened our knowledge on metabolic processes in cell-free systems. Luca Schulz studied the in vitro synthesis of fatty acids and natural compounds such as cannaboids with confirmed therapeutic potential. Luca Schulz performed his master work in the lab of Prof. Michael C. Jewett at the Northwestern University in Illinois. Currently, he works as a PhD student at the Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology in the department of Prof. Tobias Erb in Marburg.