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 CRTD receives 1.56 Mill. Euro BMBF-funding for retinal disease research
24.05.2017 | DFG-Forschungszentrum für Regenerative Therapien TU Dresden

nachricht BMBF funds translational project to improve radiotherapy
10.05.2017 | Helmholtz Zentrum München - Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt

All articles from Awards Funding >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Strathclyde-led research develops world's highest gain high-power laser amplifier

The world's highest gain high power laser amplifier - by many orders of magnitude - has been developed in research led at the University of Strathclyde.

The researchers demonstrated the feasibility of using plasma to amplify short laser pulses of picojoule-level energy up to 100 millijoules, which is a 'gain'...

Im Focus: Can the immune system be boosted against Staphylococcus aureus by delivery of messenger RNA?

Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.

Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New photocatalyst speeds up the conversion of carbon dioxide into chemical resources

29.05.2017 | Life Sciences

NASA's SDO sees partial eclipse in space

29.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

New drug reduces transplant and mortality rates significantly in patients with hepatitis C

29.05.2017 | Statistics

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>