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The Cluster of Excellence "Inflammation at Interfaces" awards three female researchers a total of 200,000 Euros

24.01.2018

In order to support its female scientists in the field of inflammation research, the Cluster of Excellence "Inflammation at Interfaces" today (24 January) awarded three lucrative Dorothea Erxleben female investigator award. The awards (1x 100,000 Euros, 2x 50,000 Euros) were presented by the State Secretary for Science, Dr Oliver Grundei. The prize is awarded to female scientists from the Cluster, in order to promote their excellent research activities. The project by Kiel Professor Almut Nebel, and the contributions of her Lübeck colleagues Professor Karin Hartmann and Professor Inke König, were rated as particularly innovative. The current awards also strengthen the Cluster of Excellence with regard to its application for the German Excellence Strategy. Because outstanding female researchers are essential for a research network to perform excellent work.

An external jury of experts chose the three best projects from the submissions received. The three winners, Nebel, Hartmann and König, are very proud - and delighted about the generous funding: "With this support from the Cluster of Excellence, we can implement exciting and innovative projects, that otherwise would not have been possible in such a form. We are very pleased that the Cluster has honored our research achievements in this way." In future, the Cluster of Excellence plans to award the Dorothea Erxleben female investigator award every three years.

The issue of gender equality is more topical than ever, as there are still significantly more men than women holding professorships or represented in leading scientific positions. State Secretary for Science, Dr Oliver Grundei, addressed the issue as follows: "By awarding this prize, the Cluster of Excellence "Inflammation at Interfaces” is sending a signal that ambitious female scientists are celebrated and encouraged. As such, the lucrative Dorothea-Erxleben research prizes help enable female scientists to implement innovative ideas. In addition, they show the next generation of female researchers that excellent research by women in Schleswig-Holstein is encouraged and recognized."

The patron of the awards ceremony, Cluster member Professor Gabriela Riemekasten from Lübeck, became the first woman in Germany to hold a chair of rheumatology in 2015. Despite such successes, gender equality has still not been achieved, especially when it comes to leadership positions in science. Riemekasten added: "The Dorothea-Erxleben-Program, which the Cluster has operated for some years now to support its female scientists, provides funding for outstanding female scientists. A new and innovative measure is the Dorothea Erxleben female investigator award, which is awarded to particularly excellent researchers from the Cluster, in order to support innovative inflammation research. With this extraordinarily lucrative prize, the Cluster is sending a clear signal that cutting-edge research requires top female scientists."


More information about the award winners:
Professor Almut Nebel, molecular biologist at the Institute of Clinical Molecular Biology at Kiel University, received the Dorothea Erxleben female investigator award 100,000 Euros. She is head of the “Longevity Ancient DNA Research” working group. In the project submitted, Nebel plans to analyze the DNA of people from the Neolithic period, in order to gain evolutionary-biological insights into inflammatory diseases.

Professor Karin Hartmann, managing senior physician at the Department of Dermatology at the University of Lübeck, received the Dorothea Erxleben female investigator award of 50,000 Euros. She specializes in dermatological and allergological diseases in which immune cells are altered. With the funding from the Cluster of Excellence, she plans to further investigate the regulation of mast cells, and the disease mastocytosis. In this way, Hartmann expects to draw important conclusions regarding the causes of inflammatory diseases, and the development of new treatments.

Professor Inke König, biostatistician at the University of Lübeck, also received the Dorothea Erxleben female investigator award of 50,000 Euros. König researches methodological procedures, which enable the prediction of disease development and progression from high-dimensional data. The qualified psychologist and doctor of human biology successfully submitted a project, in which she plans to use biostatistical methods to allocate patients to different treatment groups. In this way, better prediction of the success of a treatment should become possible in future.


Background on the Dorothea Erxleben female investigator award:
For the first time, the Cluster of Excellence "Inflammation at Interfaces” has awarded the Dorothea Erxleben female investigator award to outstanding female scientists in the field of inflammation research. One female professor from Kiel and two from Lübeck were awarded a total of 200,000 Euros (1x 100,000 Euros, 2x 50,000 Euros) for their innovative projects. In comparison with other prizes, the Dorothea-Erxleben research prize is exceptionally lucrative, and thematically very focused: only female Cluster scientists may apply, with an excellent project from the field of inflammation research.

The award is named after Dorothea Erxleben, who in 1754 was the first woman in Germany to obtain a doctorate in the field of medicine. She is an example of strong women in the history of science, who had to fight for the opportunity to work as a researcher.


Contact:
Dr Kirsten Emmert
Assistant for Gender Aspects in the Cluster of Excellence "Inflammation at Interfaces"
Tel.: +49 (0)431 880-4839
E-mail: kemmert@uv.uni-kiel.de




Press contact:
Dr. Tebke Böschen
Telefon: +49 (0)431 880-4682, e-mail: tboeschen@uv.uni-kiel.de
Website: www.inflammation-at-interfaces.de
Twitter: I@I @medinflame


The Cluster of Excellence "Inflammation at Interfaces" has been funded since 2007 by the Excellence Initiative of the German Government and the federal states with a total budget of 68 million Euros. It is currently in its second phase of funding. Around 300 cluster members are spread across the four locations: Kiel (Kiel University, University Medical Center Schleswig-Holstein (UKSH)), Lübeck (University of Lübeck, UKSH), Plön (Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology) and Borstel (Research Center Borstel (FZB) – Center for Medicine and Biosciences) and are researching an innovative, systematic approach to the phenomenon of inflammation, which can affect all barrier organs such as the intestines, lungs and skin.

Cluster of Excellence Inflammation at Interfaces
Scientific Office, Management: Dr. habil. Susanne Holstein
Address: Christian-Albrechts-Platz 4, 24118 Kiel, Germany
Phone: +49 431 880-4850, Fax: +49 431 880-4894
e-mail: spetermann@uv.uni-kiel.de
Twitter: I@I @medinflame

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