Dr. Alice Rovai receives the publication award of the German Liver Foundation.
Every year, the German Liver Foundation honours a groundbreaking scientific paper. In 2023, the publication award goes to an MHH publication. It deals with the use of CRISPR/Cas technology to treat the hereditary disease haemochromatosis. The paper, "In vivo adenine base editing reverts C282Y and improves iron metabolism in hemochromatosis mice", was published in September last year in the renowned journal Nature Communications (see also MHHinfo issue 6/2022). The prize money of 7,500 euros goes to the first author Dr Alice Rovai, who now works at the Institute of Transfusion Medicine and Transplant Engineering.
Hereditary primary haemochromatosis is one of the most common inborn errors of metabolism in Europe. The cause is a genetic defect that disturbs the regulation of iron absorption via the mucous membrane of the small intestine. A research team led by Professor Dr. Michael Ott and Dr. Dr. Simon Krooss from the Department of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Endocrinology has found a way to treat the hereditary disease with the help of targeted gene correction.
"The work seemed to us to be groundbreaking, highly innovative and extremely relevant, both methodologically and in view of the widespread nature of haemochromatosis," said Professor Dr Felix Stickel, one of the reviewers, explaining the jury's decision. The approach not only gives hope for a clinical approach, but also for translational application in other monogenetic diseases and those in which genetic effectors play a central role. The prize was awarded on 1 July during the 19th HepNet Symposium. The prize money is provided by Gilead Sciences GmbH, a partner of the German Liver Foundation.
The original paper "In vivo base editing reverts C282Y and improves iron metabolism in hemochromatosis mice" can be found here.
Author: Kirsten Pötzke