GBS young academics award for Thomas Friedrich and Stephanie Hehlgans
This year's award for young academics of the Gesellschaft für Biologische Strahlenforschung (society for biological radiation research, GBS) goes to physicist Dr. Thomas Friedrich of GSI and radiation biologist Dr. Stephanie Hehlgans of the University Hospital Frankfurt. The prize was handed over on September 25, 2013, during the annual convention of the GBS in Darmstadt. The prize is awarded by a GBS jury to young scientists not older than 38 years for excellent work in the field of biological radiation research. Both received a prize money of 750 Euro.
Dr. Thomas Friedrich works in the GSI biophysics and creates biological models for radiation damages. The computer models emulate the complex processes inside of cells, for example the differing damages inflicted on the cells by X-rays or by ion beams. By comparison with experimental data basic assumptions can be verified and the models can be refined. On the long run better predictions can be made by the models, which are e. g. used in the treatment planning for cancer therapy.
Dr. Stephanie Hehlgans is employed at the clinic for radiotherapy and oncology of the University Hospital Frankfurt. Before she was working for OncoRay - National Center for Radiation Research in Oncology in Dresden. Main topic of her research was the identification of molecular factors leading to a radiation resistance in tumor cells. She used a three-dimensional model of cell cultures that allows precise predictions of cell response. Her work forms a foundation for the development of improved diagnostical methods for the prediction of responses to therapy and the purposeful therapeutic inhibition of identifying factors of the resensibilisation of tumour cells.