Pettenkofer Prize awarded to Chase Beisel and Cynthia Sharma
Foundation recognizes innovative diagnostic platform LEOPARD
Chase Beisel from the Helmholtz Institute for RNA-based Infection Research (HIRI) and Cynthia Sharma from the Institute for Molecular Infection Biology (IMIB) at the Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg have been awarded the Pettenkofer Prize for their development of the CRISPR-Cas-based diagnostic platform LEOPARD. The award ceremony took place on October 6 in Munich.
The two awardees’ labs have made a breakthrough in diagnostics with their research on the gene scissors CRISPR, which are part of bacteria's natural immune system. Their work on CRISPR RNAs resulted in the development of the diagnostic platform called LEOPARD. Unlike established medical testing methods, such as the standard PCR tests used in the COVID-19 pandemic, this technique provides much more information. In the future, LEOPARD can thus help doctors and patients make better decisions in medical care.
The Pettenkofer Prize is awarded to outstanding scientists who have excelled in the fields of scientific and practical hygiene, medical microbiology, or virology.