Award for Young Researcher: Excellence in Cancer Research
30 September 2015
Heidelberg Biologist Dr. Sylvia Erhardt has been awarded the 2015 Hella Bühler Prize, which is endowed with 100,000 euros. The prize is aimed at young researchers at Ruperto Carola whose outstanding cancer research has garnered well-deserved attention. The prize monies are used to further advance their innovative research. Dr. Erhardt leads a junior research group at the Centre for Molecular Biology of Heidelberg University (ZMBH) as part of the CellNetworks Cluster of Excellence. The award ceremony will be held on Tuesday, 6 October 2015.
Sylvia Erhardt (b. 1971) received her degree in biology from Heidelberg University in 1998 and earned her doctorate in 2003 from the University of Cambridge (Great Britain) with a dissertation in the biological sciences. Her postdoctoral research took her to the University of Berkeley in the USA. From the beginning of her scientific career, her research focused on epigenetics, a field that studies heritable mechanisms of gene regulation not directly encoded by the DNA. She returned to Ruperto Carola in 2008 to continue her research with her own ZMBH junior research group under the auspices of the CellNetworks Cluster of Excellence.
In her project “A Role of Centromere Components in Cancer and Cancer Therapy”, Dr. Erhardt is investigating how chromosomes are correctly assigned to daughter cells during cell division. In this context she is exploring how an inconspicuously small but complex chromosomal constriction regulates this process and what role this so-called centromere plays in the development of cancer when it does not function properly. The researcher is mainly interested in the epigenetic regulation responsible for the formation of functioning centromeres. By gaining a deeper insight into these processes, Dr. Erhardt and her team hope to pioneer new approaches to targeted and better cancer treatment.
Prof. Dr. Dieter W. Heermann, Vice-President of Heidelberg University, will open the presentation ceremony for the Hella Bühler Prize. After a look back by the two 2014 prize winners, Prof. Dr. Frauke Melchior of the Center for Molecular Biology of Heidelberg University will deliver the address honouring this year’s award recipient. Dr. Erhardt will then present her research work. The ceremony will be held in the ZMBH building, Im Neuenheimer Feld 282, and begin at 6pm.
The research prize, endowed by Heidelberg dentist Dr. Hella Bühler (1910 to 2002) is aimed at supporting young Heidelberg researchers continue and deepen their ongoing excellent work in the field of cancer research.