№ 011/2016 from Jan 14, 2016
The polymer chemist Dr. Dirk Steinhilber of Freie Universität is being recognized with the Bruno Heck Science Prize of the Alumni of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation for his biomedical research. The award will be presented on January 21, 2016, by the chairperson of the Alumni of the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung e. V., Ottheinrich von Weitershausen. Dr. Dirk Steinhilber will receive the award jointly with Dr. Simone Heinemann, a business ethicist who earned her doctorate at Ruhr-Universität Bochum. The prize money amounts to 5,000 euros, which the two researchers will share equally. The award ceremony is public, and admission is free.
Dirk Steinhilber is receiving the award for his research on the synthesis of bioresponsive nanogels and microgels for the encapsulation of proteins and cells and their subsequent controlled release. Steinhilber's research ideally combines organic chemistry and polymer chemistry, so-called soft matter, biomaterials, and biomedical aspects. His findings represent a breakthrough for regenerative cell therapy and form the basis for biomedical applications and biotherapeutics in diseases such as diabetes, cancer, and Alzheimer's. "His work thus represents an outstanding scientific achievement and offers a recognizable contribution to society in the form of applied medicine," according to the selecting committee.
Steinhilber studied Chemistry with Marketing at Reutlingen University and completed the international degree program in Polymer Science at Freie Universität Berlin. He earned his doctorate at Freie Universität Berlin, where he was supervised by the chemist Prof. Dr. Rainer Haag, and then worked as a postdoctoral researcher in the internationally renowned group of Prof. Dr. David A. Weitz at Harvard University (USA).
The Bruno Heck Science Prize is presented every two years to junior researchers up to the age of 35 for innovative research achievements that make a significant contribution to socially and politically relevant issues.