CeMM congratulates Adjunct Principal Investigator Joanna Loizou on being awarded the Mannagetta Prize of the Austrian Academy of Sciences for her remarkable research work in the field of genome stability in oncology. In 2021, the Johann Wilhelm Ritter von Mannagetta Award for Medicine is given for outstanding work investigating the mechanisms of cancer genesis.
Understanding complex systems to pave the way for better cancer treatment is the goal of molecular biologist Joanna Loizou. Cancer develops when DNA damage blocks the human cell's conventional control mechanisms. But what genetic interactions are required for DNA repair and cell survival? How do DNA damage and DNA repair pathways affect the human genome? And can DNA repair be influenced to specifically kill cancer cells?
Both at the Institute of Cancer Research of the Medical University of Vienna and at CeMM, Joanna Loizou uses state-of-the-art gene editing and chemical biology methods to investigate how DNA repair pathways operate in different human cell types. For her outstanding achievements in the field of DNA repair research, the molecular biologist is being awarded this year's Johann Wilhelm Ritter von Mannagetta Prize for Medicine by the Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW), which is worth €15,000.
About the Mannagetta Prize
Once a year, the Austrian Academy of Sciences awards the Johann Wilhelm Ritter von Mannagetta Prize for Medicine in recognition of outstanding work in the field of medical research. Eligible candidates must be aged 45 or under, who have produced outstanding research in their field and are working at an Austrian university or research institution at the time of their nomination.
The name of the prize honours Johann Wilhelm Ritter von Mannagetta (1588-1666), an Austrian physician who was rector of the University of Vienna several times. He also wrote a plague ordinance and was personal physician to Ferdinand II, Ferdinand III and Leopold I. His tomb is in St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna. In 1661 he established a foundation, which still exists today: The Johann Wilhelm Ritter von Mannagetta Foundation supports the ÖAW in funding prizes in medicine as well as scholarships in the humanities, cultural and social sciences.
About Joanna Loizou
Joanna Loizou received her PhD in molecular biology from the University of Manchester and MRC Genome Damage and Stability Centre in 2004. After a postdoctoral position at the International Agency for Research on Cancer in Lyon, as well as at Cancer Research UK at the London Research Institute, she worked as a Principal Investigator at CeMM from 2011. Since February 2020, she has been both head of a research group at the Institute of Cancer Research of the University Department of Internal Medicine I and Adjunct Principal Investigator at CeMM. Loizou has received numerous awards for her research, including a Synergy Grant from the European Research Council (ERC) in 2019.