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Four IMP alumni receive Vienna BioCenter PhD Awards

08 Nov 2019

As one of the highlights of the Vienna BioCenter PhD Student Symposium “Re-Connect”, five alumni of the international PhD Programme were honoured for their outstanding achievements.

The Vienna BioCenter PhD Awards, each worth 500 Euro, are bestowed each year to postgraduate students in acknowledgement of their excellent PhD theses. This year, four out of the five awardees completed their dissertation at the IMP.

Chiara Alberti earned her PhD in the lab of Luisa Cochella where she studied the contribution of microRNAs to nervous system development and function in C. elegans worms. Her work contributed substantially to the development of a new technique to identify and characterise microRNAs in individual cells of live animals.

Sarah Herberg was a PhD Student in the lab of Andrea Pauli. She studied fundamental aspects of fertilisation in the zebrafish and identified a protein (Bouncer) responsible for mediating species-specific fertilisation in fish. Sarah has previously received the Mattias Lauwers Award for an excellent seminar presentation.

Harris Kaplan graduated from the lab of Manuel Zimmer where he worked on the neuronal dynamics that govern behavior in C. elegans, using advanced visualisation techniques to record neuronal activity. Harris recently received the ÖGMBT Life Science Research Award in the basic research category.

Matthias Muhar, a former student in the lab of Johannes Zuber, focussed on the systematic functional exploration of gene-regulatory networks in leukemic self-renewal. He was able to define the regulatory functions of two important transcriptional hubs in cancer – work which earned him an ÖGMBT Life Science Research Award in 2018.

The fifth award went to IMBA alumna Madalena Pinto who was a student in the lab of Stefan Ameres.

The PhD Awards are supported by the four research institutes involved in postgraduate education at the Vienna BioCenter, the IMP, IMBA, GMI, and the Max Perutz Labs. 

IMP Laureates of the VBC PhD Award 2019