HIRI and JMU honored for pioneering work in medical diagnostics

"Falling Walls" 2021: Chase Beisel and Cynthia Sharma awarded in life sciences category

Chase Beisel and Cynthia Sharma, basic researchers at the Helmholtz Institute for RNA-based Infection Research (HIRI) and the Julius Maximilians University Würzburg (JMU), are among the shortlist winners of this year's "Falling Walls Science Breakthroughs of the Year."

The two professors' labs have made a breakthrough in diagnostics with their research on CRISPR, the revolutionary gene scissors that are part of bacteria's natural immune system. Their research on CRISPR RNAs resulted in the development of a new diagnostic platform called LEOPARD.

Unlike established medical testing methods, such as the standard PCR tests used in the COVID pandemic, the new technique provides much more information. In the future, LEOPARD can thus help doctors and patients make better decisions in medical care.

The "Falling Walls Science Summit" is an international, interdisciplinary and cross-sectoral forum for scientific pioneering achievements and the dialogue between leading researchers and society. For this year's "Science Breakthroughs of the Year" competition, the Falling Walls jury reviewed more than 1,000 nominations from leading academic institutions in 115 countries.

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Britta Grigull

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Dr Britta Grigull