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Inaugural Birnstiel Award presented at the IMP

09 Nov 2019

The inaugural Birnstiel Awards were given to Emily Bayer, Mohamed El-Brolosy and Justin Silpe in a ceremony at the IMP. This new international award for doctoral studies in molecular life sciences will continue to be given annually.

Maggie Birnstiel, scientist and widow of IMP founding director Max Birnstiel, handed over the first Birnstiel Award yesterday in a ceremony at the IMP lecture hall. The awards, comprising of a trophy, a certificate and a 2,000 Euro prize, were endowed by the Max Birnstiel Foundation and the IMP. The Birnstiel Award aims to celebrate early scientific achievements and to raise awareness for research that inspires young scientists.

The laureates of 2019 were Emily Bayer of Columbia University; Mohamed El-Brolosy of the Max-Planck-Institute for Heart and Lung Research; and Justin Silpe of Princeton University. They stood out from a competition of over 100 nominations from four continents, which were limited to one per university or programme.

The three awardees attended the ceremony that was held in the frame of the 25th Anniversary Symposium of the Vienna BioCenter PhD Programme. Each of them presented the topic of their PhD research in a talk:

Emily Bayer, Columbia University
Talk: Sexually dimorphic development of the C. elegans nervous system.
Supervisor: Oliver Hobert

Mohamed El-Brolosy, Max Planck Institute for Heart and Lung Research
Talk: A novel role for mutant mRNA degradation in maintaining genetic robustness.
Supervisor: Didier Stainier

Justin Silpe, Princeton University
Talk: Quorum Sensing Bacteria and an Eavesdropping Phage.
Supervisor: Bonnie Bassler

Recordings of the three talks will be published shortly. The opening of the call for the 2020 Birnstiel Award will be announced in spring next year on and via the social media channels of the IMP.

On the photo from left: Justin Silpe, Emily Bayer, Mohamed El-Brolosy (IMP/Schedl)