Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Replacement organs from a Petri dish: The Körber European Science Prize 2016 goes to Hans Clevers

07.06.2016

Hans Clevers is to receive the Körber European Science Prize 2016. The Körber Foundation is awarding the Körber Prize to Clevers for his ground-breaking findings on stem cells.

Hans Clevers is to receive the Körber European Science Prize 2016, which is endowed with 750,000 euros. The Dutch biologist and physician has developed a new standard procedure for the unlimited reproduction of adult stem cells, enabling the growth of rudimentary organs in miniature format, known as organoids.


The Körber Foundation is awarding the Körber Prize to Hans Clevers for his ground-breaking findings on stem cells

Koerber Foundation/Friedrun Reinhold

Drugs can now be tested in lifelike conditions in the Petri dish, and damaged organs can be repaired and possibly replaced. The Körber Foundation is awarding the Körber Prize to Hans Clevers for his ground-breaking findings and their further development up to clinical application. Clevers intends to use the prize money to conduct research on gene therapy.

Hans Clevers, 59, studied biology and medicine and obtained his doctorate in immunology in 1985 at the University of Utrecht. As a postdoc he conducted research for three years at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. From 1991 to 2002 he was Professor of Immunology at the University of Utrecht, and since 2002 has been a Professor of Molecular Genetics. From 2012 to 2015 he was also President of the Dutch Academy of Sciences. Since 2015 Clevers has been Head of the Research Department at the Princess Máxima Center in Utrecht, a newly established paediatric cancer hospital.

The prize winner conducts research primarily on adult stem cells in digestive organs, in particular in the small intestine. In contrast to embryonic stem cells that are present only in early embryos, adult stem cells are present in the body after birth and can repair defects throughout a person's life. They also regularly renew the inner tissue lining (epithelium) of the small intestine.

Clevers is particularly interested in the signals that cause the stem cells to divide. Using a receptor (Lgr5) discovered by him which is only present in stem cells, he succeeded in isolating these cells from retrieved intestinal tissue. The Lgr5 receptor is also found in the stem cells of many other organs, such as the liver, stomach, pancreas, kidneys and prostate.

In 2009, Clevers, together with his postdoc Toshiro Sato, successfully generated an intestine-organoid from a single intestinal stem cell, which survived for several months in the Petri dish. The team had to assemble a cocktail of several growth factors, including a gel called "Matrigel", which acts as a support structure to facilitate the development of the three-dimensional organoid. This is regarded as a breakthrough in stem cell research: In the meantime, there are over 200 laboratories worldwide, cultivating organoids, including miniature stomachs and tiny kidneys and livers.

The mini-organs, which can also be cultivated from tumour tissue, are already suitable for testing drugs. "Instead of subjecting a bowel cancer patient to non-specific chemotherapy, we can prescribe a drug that has been particularly effective on his laboratory-tested tumour organoids," says Hans Clevers.

The prize-winner has already demonstrated in laboratory mice that reimplanted liver organoids can actually take over the function of the liver. This shows their suitability as replacement organs. In 2013 Clevers successfully removed the genetic defect from intestinal stem cells of patients suffering from the hereditary disease cystic fibrosis, using a newly developed genetic engineering process (CRISPR/Cas9). Tests on the organoids generated from the corrected stem cells have shown them to be free of cystic fibrosis. Clevers hopes to be able to cure rare hereditary liver defects in the same way in the future.

The Körber European Science Prize 2016 will be presented to the Dutch research scientist on 7 September in the large festival hall of Hamburg City Hall.

Weitere Informationen:

http://www.koerber-prize.org Further information and pictures for download

Andrea Bayerlein | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

Further reports about: Petri dish adult stem cells cystic fibrosis kidneys stem cells tumour

More articles from Awards Funding:

nachricht Tracking down pest control strategies
31.01.2018 | Technische Universität Dresden

nachricht Polymers and Fuels from Renewable Resources
29.01.2018 | DECHEMA Gesellschaft für Chemische Technik und Biotechnologie e.V.

All articles from Awards Funding >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.

But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...

Im Focus: Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.

The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...

Im Focus: Interference as a new method for cooling quantum devices

Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters

Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers invent tiny, light-powered wires to modulate brain's electrical signals

21.02.2018 | Life Sciences

The “Holy Grail” of peptide chemistry: Making peptide active agents available orally

21.02.2018 | Life Sciences

Atomic structure of ultrasound material not what anyone expected

21.02.2018 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>