Sir Hans-Krebs-Prize 2010 for researchers of the LEBAO

Prof. Ulrich Martin and Alexandra Haase receive award including prize money of 10,000 euros for their research work on generating induced pluripotent stem cells from cord blood

Induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells are hopes for therapies of numerous diseases, since they can be generated from theoretically every cell of the body from an adult person and – similar to embryonic stem cells – further developed into all cells of the body. A critical issue concerning the clinical use of patient-specific iPS cells is the accumulation of mutations in somatic cells.

For the first time in Germany, iPS cells were generated from human cord blood and differentiated into functional cardiomyocytes. In comparison to iPS cells derived from adult cells, cells from this juvenescent cell source have not yet acquired many mutations, therefore, representing an ideal cell source for patient-specific regenerative therapies.

On October 27, 2010, the Society of the Friends of Hannover Medical School (GdF) e. V. announced that Professor Ulrich Martin, head of the Leibniz Research Laboratories for Biotechnology and Artificial Organs, and Alexandra Haase, scientist of the LEBAO, were awarded this year’s Sir Hans-Krebs-Prize for this groundbreaking discovery.

The scientists of the LEBAO received the award within the scope of the annual general meeting of the GdF for their publication of iPS cells from human cord blood in the renowned journal Cell Stem Cell (Haase et al. 2009).

Once a year, excellent researchers are awarded the Sir Hans-Krebs-Prize, which is remunerated with 10,000 euros. For the first time, it was financed by Ernst-August Schrader this year. The prize is named after Sir Hans Adolf Krebs (born in 1900 in Hildesheim, died in 1981 in Oxford) who 1937 discovered the citric acid cycle. Besides conferment of further highly remunerated research prizes and stipends within the frame of the GdF meeting, the award winners presented their research work in conjunction with Professor Dr. Hartmut Küppers, chairman of the GdF and Professor Dr. Christopher Baum, dean of research of the MHH.