Philipp Heretsch wins first prize in DSM Science & Technology Awards


Great achievement in the development of more efficient therapeutic actives for cancer treatment

German researcher Philipp Heretsch has won first prize in the DSM Science & Technology Awards (South) 2010.

An international judging committee chaired by Dr Manfred Eggersdorfer, senior vice president nutritional science & nutrition and health advocacy at DSM Nutritional Products, selected Philipp Heretsch, who obtained his doctorate from the Universität Leipzig in Germany for research in the field of preparative organic chemistry.

Philipp Heretsch has pioneered a chemical synthesis route for the naturally occurring active compound cyclopamine, plus more stable and acid resistant derivatives thereof. This research is considered to be a great achievement in the development of more efficient therapeutic actives for cancer treatment.

Dr Heretsch was presented the award by Dr Eggersdorfer and Dr Leendert Staal, president and ceo of DSM Nutritional Products on 23 June in Interlaken (Switzerland). He will also receive a cash prize of €10,000.

The second prize (€5,000) was awarded to Thomas Böttcher of the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (Germany) for his PhD research on natural products and their derivatives as molecular probes that allow the identification of their dedicated biological targets in bacterial cells.

The third prize (€2,500) went to Grit Kummerlöwe of Technische Universität München (Germany) for her Ph.D. work on the measurement of anisotropic NMR parameters. The other nine finalists will each receive a cash prize of €1,250.

The DSM Science & Technology Awards (South) form part of the DSM Innovation Awards programme. They are granted for outstanding research by doctoral students from Switzerland – the home of DSM Nutritional Products – and the neighboring regions of Austria, northern France and southern Germany.

‘Our r&d programmes draw to a great extent on our network of key opinion leaders and our co-operation with universities in many different fields. Therefore it is a privilege for DSM to honour outstanding young researchers who are pushing the frontiers of science,’ said Dr Staal.

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The other nine prize winners are: Cédric Atmanene, Département des Sciences Analytiques, Université Louis Pasteur Strasbourg (France); Benjamin Blaise, Centre de RMN à Très Hauts Champs, Université de Lyon (France); Simone Bonazzi, Department Chemie, ETH Zurich (Switzerland); Florence Collet, Institute Chimie des Substances Naturelles, CNRS, Gif-sur-Yvette (France); Kateryna Lypetska, Institut für Organische Chemie, Technische Universität Graz (Austria); Thomas Magauer, Institut für Organische Chemie, Universität Wien (Austria); Florian Pitterl, Institute of Legal Medicine, Medizinische Universität Innsbruck (Austria); and Antonio Tricoli, Institute of Process Engineering, ETH Zürich (Switzerland).