Dr. Christian Bender, researcher at TRON, is one of this year’s winners of the MTZ- Foundation Award for Medical Systems Biology. The award promotes young scientists for their outstanding contributions to research in Systems Biology. The award ceremony will take place during the 4th Conference on Systems Biology of Mammalian Cells from July 9–11 2012 in Leipzig, Germany. There, the three finalists will present their dissertations for the final ranking by the jury.
In his dissertation completed at the German Cancer Center in Heidelberg (DKFZ), Dr. Bender proposes a novel approach to understand the signaling processes within the ERBB receptor network under cancer drug treatment. Signaling processes in cancers, especially under drug treatment are not yet completely understood, and methods that describe treatment speciﬁc regulation and signaling patterns on a system-wide view from experimental data are needed to better understand the efficacy of therapies. Dr. Bender could demonstrate that, in the ERBB data set, the combined application of the drugs erlotinib and trastuzumab to the breast cancer cell line HCC1954 resulted in potent inhibition of growth promoting signalling effects, reﬂected in the down-regulation of the MAPK and AKT signaling pathways. This suggests that this combination therapy could be also a promising option for treatment of breast cancer patients.
The MTZ®foundation (Monika and Thomas Zimmermann) fosters science and research in the field of Human Medicines. It supports the classical scientific research approach of postgraduates (also post-doctorands) in the cellular and genetic domain, as well as within the innovative field of Systems Biology that deciphers complex, cross-linked biological phenomena of cells, tissue and organisms and translates them into realistic computer models by means of an interdisciplinary approach. The main objective is to significantly contribute to the conquest of diseases by investigating on their origins and coherences.
Offering the MTZ Award for Medical Systems Biology should foster future-oriented research approaches in the field of medical Systems Biology. The award is granted by the MTZ foundation in order to appreciate outstanding dissertations in the field of medical Systems Biology on a prominent level, with the aim of drawing special attention and public recognition to the promising scientific young talents. The MTZ foundation co-operates with the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the Project Management Jülich (PtJ).