University of Bayreuth, Press release No. 150/2021, 26 October 2021
Genetics expert in Bayreuth awarded Bavarian Culture Prize
Bayreuth biologist Dr. Susanne Hellmuth will receive the Bavarian Culture Prize presented by Bayernwerk AG. She is being honoured for her doctoral thesis in the field of genetics at the University of Bayreuth. Her research findings on the human cell cycle could provide important new impulses for cancer research. The award ceremony in Munich's Eisbach Studios will take place on 28 October 2021 starting at 7 p.m. and will be broadcast live on the web. Together with the award winner from Bayreuth, 31 other scholars will be honoured.
Link to watch the award cerermony online:
"I am very pleased to receive this award because I see it as a sign of appreciation for fundamental research, the application potential and societal benefits of which often only emerge much later," said Dr. Hellmuth.
The award winner has discovered a surprising function of separase, an enzyme that is indispensable for the human cell cycle. Separase not only plays a crucial role in cell division, as was already known. In cells whose DNA has been damaged, separase also decides whether to attempt to repair the damage or to initiate programmed cell death to prevent the development of tumor cells. In the future, these findings could lead to new approaches in cancer therapy.
The Bavarian Culture Prize is awarded by Bayernwerk together with the Bavarian State Ministry of Science and the Arts. In the science category, the 32 best graduates from all the universities and universities of applied science throughout Bavaria are honoured. "Scientific progress requires bright minds and innovative ideas. With this award, we are making their findings accessible to the public and showing our appreciation," explained Dr. Egon Leo Westphal, chairman of Bayernwerk's board of directors.